The Delhi High Court has recently expressed concern over alarming increase in false sexual harassment, observing that the same are filed only to arm twist the accused and make them succumb to the demands of the complainant.
One must note that this is not the first or the last time, Delhi High Court has called out the need to deal with false sexual harassment cases with an “iron hand”.
Justice Subramonium Prasad in the current order observed,
This Court is pained to note that there is an alarming increase of cases under Section 354, 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D only to arm-twist the accused and make them succumb to the demands of the complainant.
The Court was dealing with two petitions seeking quashing of FIRs arising out of a dispute which was civil in nature. While one of the FIR was registered under Sections 354, 323 and 509 of IPC the other was registered under Sections 354, 323, 506 and 509 of IPC.
It was stated that both the parties were closely related to each other and that owing to some misunderstanding, a quarrel took place over a issue of parking of vehicle, which involved the family member from both the sides.
However, it was submitted that with the intervention of the common family friends and the respectable persons of the locality, both the parties had entered into an amicable settlement.
During the course of hearing, the parties undertook that they will remain bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement arrived at between them.
Delhi High Court
Quashing the FIRs filed by the parties, who are family members and closely related to each other, the court observed,
A perusal of the above two FIRs reveals that these are all cross complaints.
Both parties later sought to get the FIRs quashed on the basis of the Settlement arrived at between them.
The Court also noted that the time spent by the police in investigating such false cases and in Court proceedings hinders them from spending time in investigation of serious offences. The court said,
As a result cases which are required proper investigation get compromised and accused in those cases end up going scot-free due to the shoddy investigation. Valuable judicial time is also spent in hearing cases where false allegations are made and is consequently an abuse of the process of law.
The Court added that the matters were squarely covered by the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab. It said,
Since, the Police had to spend valuable time in investigating the offences and considerable time has been spent by the court in the criminal proceedings initiated by the petitioners, this Court is inclined to impose cost upon the petitioners.
The Court therefore directed the petitioners to deposit a sum of Rs 50,000 each with the “Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund” within a period of three weeks.
The pleas were accordingly disposed of.
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