The Allahabad High Court in its order dated May 31, 2022 granted bail to a rape accused after the victim had not supported the prosecution’s case during the trial and that she had been declared hostile.
The High Court also directed the trial court to take steps for a refund of the compensation paid to the alleged victim along with compliance under Section 344 CrPC for giving false evidence.
A man named Hariom Sharma was arrested in December 2020 on charges of raping the victim. His first bail application was rejected on August 13, 2021, in view of the Victim’s statement under Section 164 CrPC. This is the second bail application by accused.
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First Bail Application Rejection
First bail application of the applicant was rejected by this Court on the ground that victim in her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. had made allegation of rape against all the three accused person and in the vagina of the victim a circular wooden piece of 12 cm long and 2.5 cm in circumference was found.
Reason For Second Bail Application
The main substratum of argument of learned counsel for the applicant is that the evidence of the victim has been recorded before the trial court on 30.07.2021 as PW-1, in which she has not supported the prosecution case and has been declared hostile. She stated that she had made the allegation of rape in her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. at the behest of her husband and police.
The applicant also argued that the co-accused have been granted bail by the co-ordinate Bench of the High Court and that his case now stands on a better footing.
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Allahabad High Court
The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh heard all facts of the case and granted bail to the applicant. The High Court also issued direction to the trial court to ensure compliance of Section 344 CrPC [Summary procedure for trial for giving false evidence] in the instant case. While allowing bail, the Judge remarked,
Considering the societal interest, it is high time for the trial court to resort to Section 344 Cr.P.C in appropriate cases. In the present case since the prosecutrix before the trial Court has turned hostile and completely denied the prosecution’s version, therefore she is not entitled to the benefit of any compensation paid by the Government, which has been collected from the taxpayers of the country.
Image of Applicant Tarnished
The High Court also observed that in the instant case, on account of the allegation of rape against the applicant, the image of the applicant had been tarnished in the society and he was arrested and he suffered the ignominy of being involved in most hatred offence of rape. The Judge added,
On account of allegation of rape against the applicant, the image of the applicant has been tarnished in the society. He was arrested and suffered the ignominy of being involved in most hatred offence of rape.
He lost reverence in the society whereas every one has right to live with dignity in the society. On acquittal of the accused on the ground that victim turned hostile, the stigma against him may be washed away to the certain extent but that is not enough.
The High Court emphasised that complainants who file false rape cases should also be held accountable. The Court expressed anguish and said,
Before parting with this case, I would like to observe that nowadays the practice of stating falsehood are being increased and the same is on higher side.
It is well settled that presumption of innocence will have to be balanced with the right of victim and accused as well as above all societal interest for enforcing the rule of law. Neither accused nor victim or any witnesses should be permitted to subvert a criminal trial by stating falsehood and resort to contrivances, so as to make it theatre of the absurd.
Dispensation of justice in a criminal trial is a serious issue and cannot be allowed to become a mockery by simply allowing prime prosecution witnesses /victims to turn hostile as a ground of acquittal. Complainants should also be accountable and should take responsibility on their shoulder.
READ ORDER | "Nowadays #FalseRape Cases Have Increased"; Allahabad High Court Orders Refund Of Compensation Paid To Victim— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 5, 2022
▪️Complainant stated she had made allegation of rape in her statement under Section 164 CrPC at the behest of her husband & policehttps://t.co/cl0fT4bmUq
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