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Indian society has changed; false implication in sexual offences on the rise
Sandeep Kumar Mishra Vs State of UP
Crl Misc Bail Appl No - 32824 of 2020
About/from the judgment:
The Indian society has undergone a complete change during the last four decades and now it is more often observed that false implication in sexual offences is on a rise, the Allahabad High Court observed while granting bail to two men accused of raping a woman in Varanasi in 2019.
The Court cited the Supreme Court's ruling in Bharwada Bhoginbhai Hirjibhai v. State of Gujarat, which stated that in present-day India, it was unlikely for a woman to falsely accuse someone of sexual assault to avoid being maligned in society, and noted that the Indian society has undergone significant transformations since the judgment was passed four decades ago.
"Much water has flown down the Ganges since passing of the aforesaid judgment by the Apex Court. The Indian society has undergone a complete change during the said period of about 40 years and now it is more often observed that false implication in sexual offences is on a rise. The inordinate delay in lodging the FIR is to be considered at the time of adjudicating the bail," the Court said.
The First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the accused at Meerut on August 5, 2019 under Sections 376-D (intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The FIR was sent to be investigated by the police of Rohaniya of Varanasi District on a letter sent by Senior Superintendent of Police, Meerut as the matter fell within the jurisdiction of District Varanasi. The FIR there was lodged on September ,9 2019.
The counsel for the accused argued that the survivor's medical examination at the District Hospital in Varanasi did not reveal any internal or external injuries to support the prosecution's allegations against the applicants.
They claimed that the applicants were falsely implicated in the case because they inquired about the illegal activities being carried out by the survivor and other activists of the Ashram she was associated with. They also argued that the prosecution introduced new witnesses and filed their affidavits before SSP, Meerut, which was not admissible in law.
They stated that Chandra Mohan, a godman, was responsible for lodging the FIRs against the revolting disciples of ‘Janeu Kranti Abhiyan’ and that there were several FIRs against him.
It was also claimed that the accused were associated with Chandra Mohan and used to live permanently with him since 2018 but, after some time, they realized that they had been cheated by him and came to know of his illegal activities. As a result, they posted several messages on a WhatsApp group, which led to protests against Chandra Mohan and divided his disciples into two sections.
The counsel further argued that the survivor, who was the National President of ‘Janeu Kranti Abhiyan’ could have lodged the FIR at Varanasi itself, and lodging the FIR at a far place like Meerut, that too after over a month, indicated malicious intent.
On the other hand, the State vehemently opposed the bail applications on the grounds that the accused had committed a gruesome act with the survivor, and it was not possible for a woman to falsely accuse someone of rape in Indian society.
They also argued that sexual assault often goes unreported and that the prosecution witnesses have deposed against the accused. They contended that the delay in lodging the FIR was natural due to the victim's pressure and the Indian values of not revealing such acts.
The counsel further argued that the survivor's statement needs no corroboration and that the false story of the involvement of godman Chandra Mohan was fabricated by the applicant-accused to escape the grave offences committed by them.
The Court after considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the evidence on record, the inordinate delay in lodging the FIR, and the fact that the trial was at its conclusive end, determined that the accused had made out a case for bail. The applications were therefore allowed.
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