STOPPING THE ABUSE !
In Most Cases Women File False FIRs Under POCSO/SC-ST Act Using It As A Weapon To Grab Money From State: Allahabad HC
While pulling back no punches against women misusing laws, the Allahabad High Court in a most learned, laudable, landmark and latest judgment titled Ajay Yadav vs State of UP And 3 Others in Neutral Citation No. – 2023:AHC:161400 and Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application u/s 438 Cr.P.C. No. – 7907 of 2023 and cited in 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 254 lamented that it is very unfortunate that nowadays, in “maximum cases” women are filing false FIRs under the POCSO/SC-ST Act using it as a “weapon to grab money” from the State and this practice should stop. The Court noted with concern that such false FIRs are being lodged just for taking money from the State and the same has the effect of ruining the image of innocent persons in society. It is not hidden from anyone that such women who can extort money from the State know fully well how to extort money from male individuals who value their reputation in society and to preserve it are ready to dish out lakhs of rupees so that their image does not get tarnished in the eyes of the public!
The moot question now is: Why should such women lodging false FIR and extorting huge money not be fined and jailed for at least an year or two? At a time when our policy makers are revising our criminal laws, suitable and necessary changes must be made in this direction also! If nothing is done in this direction then definitely women will keep exploiting laws and it is men who will keep suffering for no fault of theirs which is most deplorable and has to be deprecated in the strongest parliamentary language!
At the very outset, this brief, brilliant, bold and balanced judgment authored by the Single Judge Bench comprising of Hon’ble Mr Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav sets the ball in motion by first and foremost putting forth in para 1 that, “Heard Mr. Hari Prakash Tiwari, learned counsel for the applicant, learned Additional Government Advocate for the State and Mr. Nehal Beg, learned counsel for the informant/victim.”
As we see, the Bench then discloses in para 2 of this remarkable judgment that, “This anticipatory bail application (under section 438 Cr.P.C.) has been moved seeking bail in Case Crime No.49 of 2019, under Sections 376, 313, 504, 506 IPC and Section 3/4 of Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, Police Station Phoolpur, District Azamgarh.”
To put things in perspective, the Bench envisages in para 3 of this notable judgment that, “Learned counsel for the applicant submits that applicant has been falsely implicated in the present case just to harass the applicant in fact no such incident has taken place as alleged in the impugned FIR. The applicant has never committed any offence as alleged in the impugned FIR. As per allegation, the applicant has committed rape upon the victim in the year 2011. He further submits that the incident is alleged to have taken place in the year 2011 whereas the impugned FIR has been lodged on 11.03.2019 i.e. about 8 years of the alleged incident but there is no plausible explanation regarding huge delay. He further submits that the victim in her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. has stated that applicant has made physical relation with her. The victim herself has admitted that she has made physical relation with the applicant meaning thereby the victim is a consenting party. He further submits that the victim was medically examined on 28.03.2019 in which the victim was found above 18 years and as per supplementary medical report, no spermatozoa was seen. He further submits that in the alleged incident, the applicant and his father has been implicated on false and fabricated ground. The co-accused Dayalu Yadav has already been granted anticipatory bail by this Court vide order dated 11.04.2023 passed in Criminal Misc. Anticipatory Bail Application No.13001 of 2022, copy of the same has been filed as Annexure No.8 to the affidavit.. Prime facie no alleged offence is made out against the applicant. The applicant is having no previous criminal history as has been mentioned in paragraph 26 of the affidavit. He further submits that applicant has apprehension of imminent arrest and in case, the applicant is released on anticipatory bail, he will not misuse the liberty and would co-operate with the trial.”
As it turned out, the Bench enunciates in para 4 that, “Learned A.G.A. as well as learned counsel for the informant/victim have vehemently opposed the prayer for anticipatory bail of the applicant.”
It would be germane to note that the Bench while pointing the glaring contradictions in victim statements lays bare in para 5 stating that, “Perusal of record shows that there are material contradictions in the statement of the victim recorded under Sections 161 and 164 Cr.P.C. As per version of the FIR, it has been mentioned that the applicant made physical relation with the victim in the year 2012 whereas in the statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C. the victim has stated that applicant made physical relation in the year 2013.”
While citing the most recent, remarkable and relevant case law, the Bench points out in para 6 observing that, “Hence without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and considering the nature of accusations and antecedents of applicant, he is directed to be enlarged on anticipatory bail as per the Constitution Bench judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Sushila Aggarwal vs. State (NCT of Delhi)- 2020 SCC Online SC 98. The future contingencies regarding anticipatory bail being granted to applicant shall also be taken care of as per the aforesaid judgment of the Apex Court.”
(i) The applicant shall co-operate with the Investigating Officer during investigation and shall report to the Investigating Officer as and when required for the purpose of conducting investigation.
(ii) The applicant shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer.
(iii) The applicant shall not leave the country during the currency of trial without prior permission from the concerned trial Court.
(iv) The applicant shall surrender his passport, if any, to the concerned Court forthwith. His passport will remain in custody of the concerned Court.
(v) The applicant shall file an undertaking to the effect that he shall not seek any adjournment on the dates fixed for evidence and the witnesses are present in court. In case of default of this condition, it shall be open for the trial court to treat it as abuse of liberty of bail and pass orders in accordance with law to ensure presence of the applicant.
(vi) In case, the applicant misuses the liberty of bail, the Court concerned may take appropriate action in accordance with law and judgment of Apex Court in the case of Sushila Aggarwal vs. State (NCT of Delhi)- 2020 SCC Online SC 98.
(vii) The applicant shall remain present, in person, before the trial court on the dates fixed for (i) opening of the case, (ii) framing of charge and (iii) recording of statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C. If in the opinion of the trial court default of this condition is deliberate or without sufficient cause, then it shall be open for the trial court to treat such default as abuse of liberty of his bail and proceed against his in accordance with law.”
Be it noted, the Bench stipulates in para 8 that, “In default or misuse of any of the conditions, the Public Prosecutor/Investigating Officer/first informant-complainant is at liberty to file appropriate application for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to the applicant.”
Simply put, the Bench then hastens to add in para 9 mentioning that, “With the aforesaid observations / directions, the application stands disposed of.”
Most forthrightly, the Bench expounds in para 10 holding that, “Before parting with the case, it would be appropriate to observe that in the society, there are certain false FIR under the POCSO as well as SC/ST Act is lodged against innocent persons ruined their image in the society just for taking money from the State. It is very unfortunate that now a days, in maximum cases the women is using it as a weapon just to grab money, which should be stopped.”
Most commendably, the Bench clearly mandates in para 11 propounding that, “Looking to the rampant and daily increasing prevalence of such type of crimes of sexual violence, I think that it is high time that the State of U.P. and even the Union of India should become sensitive to this grave issue.”
Finally and far most significantly which I find most distinguishing also is that the Bench then concludes by holding in para 12 that, “Under the circumstances, it is directed that in case it is found that the FIR lodged by the victim is false, then criminal proceeding under Section 344 Cr.P.C. against the victim shall be initiated after conducting inquiry. It is also directed that in case any money is given by the State to the victim, the same shall also be recovered from the victim.”
In sum, it is good to see that nowadays the Courts are taking very seriously the growing reprehensible, retrograde and regressive tendency to lodge false FIRs and has made it clear in several cases that the practice of lodging FIRs and falsely making serious allegations of rape cannot be permitted and that such a deplorable, derogatory, destructive, derisive and dangerous practice cannot be permitted and that such a practice has to be dealt with a “heavy hand” and has to be nipped in the bud! We saw how in July the Allahabad High Court had imposed a cost of Rs10K on a woman who admittedly lodged a FIR against 4 men falsely accusing them of committing the offences of rape and unnatural sex against her. The Bench of Hon’ble Mr Justice Anjani Kumar Mishra and Hon’ble Mr Justice Vivek Kumar had minced just no words to remark that, “The criminal justice system cannot be permitted to be used as a tool for settling personal disputes by filing first information reports which are admittedly false.”
In this case also we see that the Single Judge Bench comprising of Hon’ble Mr Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav has made it absolutely clear that in most cases women file false FIR under POCSO/SC-ST Act using it most shamelessly as a “weapon to grab money” from the state and this practice should stop! If Centre fails to introduce some safeguards in the new penal laws so that those women who lodge false FIRs are most strictly punished then it will be “nothing but the biggest absurdity on earth”! I hold women in the highest esteem but that certainly does not mean that they grossly misuse penal laws against men for their own petty selfish gains and satisfying their false ego! But let me clarify here that I also very strongly feel that for heinous crimes like gang rape there should be nothing but only and only death penalty and such heinous crimes cannot be ever justified under any circumstances but if women lodges false FIR with malicious intent then she too definitely should not be spared and must be made to spend some years behind bars besides giving huge compensation to the men whom she falsely defamed! It is definitely most heartening to see that the Courts these days are taking very seriously false cases lodged by women and this leading case is the best example to substantiate what I say! There is no reason why all courts should not emulate them and rule similarly in similar such cases!