A woman who had falsely complained of rape a 100 times will be tried for perjury by a Delhi court, which noted that it would be "failing in its duty" if she was not prosecuted for "giving false evidence".
Stating that the woman--a young model--should be prosecuted for "lying to the court", additional sessions judge Virender Bhat said that she had admitted to having previously filing a false complaint against a senior citizen. The court noted that "she has also admitted that during the year 2010 to 2012, she has made about a 100 calls to the helpline 100", which she later admitted were to register false complaints.
Last year, the woman had also called the police helpline and said she was about to commit suicide because a man had raped her. However, when the police officials reached the spot, she was not there.
The court's decision came while hearing a rape complaint filed by the woman against her brother-in-law, who was acquitted after the court found her testimony to be not "credible".
During cross-examination, the woman said she had an affair with the accused prior to her marriage with his brother. She had, later, filed a criminal case under the Domestic Violence Act against her in laws, including her sisterin-law and her husband, but this complaint made no mention of the alleged rape by her brother-in-law.
While noting that rape conviction can be secured on “the victim’s statement alone,” the judge said this was not a fit case to condemn the alleged rapist as the woman was not “a sterling witness” because there were material and relevant discrepancies in her complaint and deposition before the court.
Senior lawyers, concerned about the mis-use of anti-dowry and crimes-against-women laws, hail this decision as a good one which will deter others from misusing the criminal justice system for their own benefit.
Senior council Meenakshi Arora told Hindustan Times, “People suffer serious consequences because of false complaints, so this is a logical conclusion of filing one. It will work as a deterrent and educate people that there are recourses they can take to combat malicious prosecutions.”
However, the underlying cause of many false complaints remains unaddressed, Arora adds.
"The actual problem is lack of adequate laws to meet with alimony and maintenance. Because of the lack of remedial measures, wives are often told to file false complaint to get their minimum dues. If there was a legislation that would quickly take care of division of matrimonial assets, we will probably see a fall in the number of false complaints filed."