NEW DELHI: Levelling of false charges of rape against a person is a very serious thing and time has come to curb this "menace", a Delhi court has observed.
The court made the observation while acquitting two men in a fake rape case lodged by a woman with a direction that perjury proceedings be initiated against her for falsely implicating them to extract money.
"The instances of innocent persons being framed falsely in criminal cases have seen an increase during the past couple of years. Witnesses depose falsely before Courts without any fear of the court or the law. Time has come when the courts need to come forward to curb this menace of giving false evidence, by prosecuting and sternly punishing the witnesses found to have resorted to such practices," Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt said.
The judge also observed that by the time a case reaches trial, the accused remains in jail and the harassment suffered by him is above the jail term undergone.
"Levelling of false charges of rape against a person is a very serious thing and cannot be taken rightly. By the time the cases reach the stage of trial, the accused, in many cases, remain in jail.
"The ignominy, ridicule and harassment suffered by him is not tough to imagine which is above the jail term undergone by him," the judge said, adding this is a fit case to initiate proceedings against the woman for giving false evidence.
The court also noted that the woman had lodged a police complaint against the two accused in order to extract money illegally from them and later on exonerated one of them after receiving some monetary consideration.
"Therefore, the Reader of this court is hereby directed to submit an appropriate complaint in this regard against the prosecutrix... seeking initiation of proceedings for the offence of perjury against her," it said.
According to prosecution, the woman lodged a complaint 15 days after the alleged incident, claiming that the two accused forced themselves on her in a car here on June 19 this year.
They also threatened her not to disclose the incident to anyone, it said.
The court, which noted there was an unexplained delay in lodging FIR, said, "A close scrutiny of evidence clearly indicates that no such rape incident took place and the woman lodged a false case against accused for some ulterior motive."
During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations and claimed they were falsely implicated by the woman.