SC warns courts to be careful of false rape cases

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) The Supreme Court has asked the courts to be careful and see that a person is not convicted on false charge of rape, either put to take revenge, extort money or to get rid of financial liability.

A bench comprising justices R V Raveendran and B Sudershan Reddy noted ''the courts should bear in mind that false charge of rape is not uncommon. There have been rare instances where a parent has persuaded a gullible or an obediant daughter to make false charge of rape either to take revenge or extort money or to get rid of financial liability. Whether there was a rape or not would ultimately depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.'' The statement was made in the wake of the acquittal of one Radhu from Madhya Pradesh who was sentenced to seven-years imprisonment in a rape case. Radhu and his mother were arrested and convicted for an incident of rape in which a 14-year-old girl Sumanbai was allegedly raped by her maternal uncle Radhu on January 28, 1991. The trial court found both son and mother guilty of the charges and sentenced them to seven-year imprisonment.

While the mother died during the pendency of her appeal in Madhya Pradesh High Court, Radhu's appeal was dismissed on september 12, 2003.

Radhu had taken a defence that Mangilal, the father of the prosecuted, was indebted to Nathu, the father of the accused, and a false case of rape was slapped against Radhu to pressurize his father to drop the demand for money.

The apex court, in its judgement, concluded the prosecution had miserably failed to prove the charges. ''we are satisfied that the evidence does not warrent a finding of guilty at all and the trial court and the high court erred in returning a finding guilt.'' ''We, therefore allow the appeal, set aside the judgements of the courts below and acquit the accused of all charges'', the court added. The defence, however failed to prove the false charge of rape were made to avoid repayment of loan.

The court held that it was irrelevent since the evidence of the prosecuted, when read as a whole was full of discrepencies and did not inspire confidence and it was highly improbable that such an incident ever took place.

UNI

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