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In Most Cases, Women File False FIRs Under POCSO/SC-ST Act Using It As A Weapon To Grab Money From State: Allahabad HC

CASE TITLE: Ajay Yadav vs. State Of U.P. And 3 Others 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 254 [CRIMINAL MISC ANTICIPATORY BAIL APPLICATION U/S 438 CR.P.C. No. – 7907 of 2023]

DECIDED ON: 10.08.2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Shekhar Kumar Yadav,J.

INTRODUCTION

The Allahabad High Court made a remark on Thursday stating that it is regrettable that currently, a significant number of cases involve women submitting untrue FIRs under the POCSO/SC-ST Act with the intention of exploiting it as a means to extract funds from the government. The Court emphasized the need to halt this trend.

The Court highlighted the trend of these baseless FIRs, which are primarily aimed at securing monetary gains from the government. This practice has the harmful consequence of tarnishing the reputation of innocent individuals within the community.

FACTS

The recent statement from the Allahabad High Court lamented the unfortunate trend where a significant number of women are currently submitting false FIRs under the POCSO/SC-ST Act, utilizing it as a strategy to obtain financial gains from the government. The Court expressed its concern about this practice and emphasized the need for its cessation.

The Court observed that these fabricated FIRs are primarily aimed at extracting money from the government, leading to the detrimental consequence of tarnishing the reputation of innocent individuals within society.

Addressing the prevailing issue of increasing instances of sexual violence, the bench of Justice Shekhar Yadav further remarked, “Considering the widespread and consistently growing occurrences of such acts, I believe that it is essential for both the State of U.P. and the Union of India to recognize the gravity of this matter.” This observation was made while granting anticipatory bail to a rape accused.

The accused was alleged to have committed rape against the victim in 2011, yet the FIR was filed in March 2019, approximately 8 years after the purported incident. In his pursuit of anticipatory bail, the accused’s legal counsel argued that the victim had not provided a reasonable explanation for the significant delay in lodging the FIR. The defense contended that the accused had been falsely implicated in an attempt to harass him, asserting that the alleged incident never occurred as described in the FIR.

The defense also highlighted that the victim herself had admitted to engaging in a physical relationship with the accused, indicating her consent and confirming her age as over 18 years. Additionally, it was brought to the court’s attention that a co-accused had already been granted anticipatory bail, prompting the defense to request the same relief for the accused in question.

CASE ANALYSIS AND DECISION

After considering the content of the First Information Report (FIR) and the arguments presented by the accused’s legal representative, the Court made an observation that there exist significant inconsistencies in the victim’s statements recorded under Sections 161 and 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.).

The Court also highlighted that according to the details provided in the FIR, it was stated that the accused engaged in a physical relationship with the victim in 2012. However, in the statement given under Section 161 of the Cr.P.C., the victim asserted that the accused had such a relationship with her in 2013.

Given these circumstances, the Court issued a directive specifying that if it is determined that the FIR filed by the victim is unfounded, then a proper inquiry will be conducted and criminal proceedings under Section 344 of the Cr.P.C. will be initiated against the victim. Additionally, the Court mandated that any financial assistance provided to the victim by the State will be reclaimed from her.

In a recent incident last month, the Allahabad High Court imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 on a woman who openly admitted to submitting a false FIR against four men, falsely accusing them of rape and unnatural sexual acts against her.

The Court further emphasized that the act of filing FIRs containing fabricated and grave allegations of rape cannot be condoned. Such a practice must be handled with a firm approach, according to the Court’s statement, as it necessitates a severe response.

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Written by- Mansi Malpani