The Allahabad High Court in its order dated April 11, 2023 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to recover the compensation paid to rape victims if they turn hostile during trial proceedings.
The high court was hearing a bail application of an accused who was charged with rape under Section 376, 452, 506 IPC and Section 3/4 of POCSO Act by the Unnao Police.
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During the course of the hearing, the high court was informed that the victim did not support the prosecution case and turned hostile saying that she could not recognise the man. Learned counsel for the victim told court:
PW-2 prosecutrix has not supported the prosecution case in cross examination. She has deposed before the Court that she could not identify the person who committed rape against her. She has further stated that she had not seen the face of the person who committed rape. She has further stated that there is no enmity between her family and the applicant.
It has been submitted that prosecutrix has totally denied version of FIR as well as the version of 164 CrPC before the Court. Once she has denied the version under Section 164 CrPC and the FIR, at the moment the applicant may not be held guilty and he is liable to be granted bail. He has further submitted that the PW-1 brother who is complainant has also not supported the prosecution case.
The brother has stated that some other person had written FIR and he cannot read Hindi language, therefore, he could not come to know how the FIR was lodged. He has submitted that the applicant has no criminal history and he is in Jail since 20.5.2022.
Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench)
While passing the bail order in the matter, a bench of Justice B R Singh said,
In my opinion, if the victim has become hostile and does not support the prosecution case at all, it is appropriate to recover the amount paid to the victim.
The victim is the person who comes before the court and during the trial, if she denies the allegation of rape and becomes hostile, there is no justification to keep the amount of compensation provided by the state government. The state exchequer cannot be burdened like this and there is all possibility of misuse of the laws.
The Judge ordered that the compensation amount given to the ‘victim’ or the family member be recovered. The bench said,
Therefore, the amount of compensation given to the victim or the family member is liable to be recovered by the authorities concerned who have paid the compensation.
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The High Court expressed serious concern over the practice of taking compensation from the government in cases of rape and POCSO Act matters and turn hostile during trial proceedings.
Next date of hearing in the matter has been fixed in the second week of August and where the UP Govt has been ordered to submit the progress report.
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The High Court also directed the state government to issue necessary directions to the officers concerned in the matter. The Court further directed its senior registrar to send a copy of the order to the chief secretary for necessary compliance.
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READ ORDER | "Recover Compensation Paid To Rape Victims Who Turn Hostile During Trial": Allahabad High Court To UP Govt— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) April 17, 2023
▪️HC expressed serious concern over practice of taking compensation in cases of rape & POCSO & turn hostile during trial proceedingshttps://t.co/6IYn1MWT0P
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