Charges filed under any section are serious, especially if a report is filed against someone for minor child rape or molestation. While the laws are being made more stringent to arrest and punish the real perpetrators of the crime, the misuse of the same cannot be overlooked as well.
58 year old headmaster from a school in Pataudi, Gurgaon, was arrested on Saturday afternoon under the charges of molesting a minor 12 year old student. The case was lodged against the headmaster by the victim girl’s father. He was sent to judicial custody by a court later in the day in the case lodged under Section 10 of POCSO Act at women’s police station in Manesar.
However, after lodging the case, the police learnt that the girl’s parents did not take her to record her statement in front of the magistrate. This got the men in uniform alerted with the loophole in the documentation of the case and immediately formed two teams one headed by ACP Shakuntala and the other by inspector Jai Prakash Yadav and caught six people including the girl’s father accepting a bribe of Rs. 17 Lakhs from the headmaster’s family.
“Both the families met in the office of a local zilla prashad in Jamalpur late on Saturday night. Our teams arrested the accused while accepting the money,” an officer said.
“Moreover, the girl also denied all the allegations against the headmaster. An FIR has now been registered against all the accused, including the girl’s father and his friends, who conspired against the headmaster, under sections 384 (extortion)120b (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of IPC at Pataudi police station,” he said.
Many such incidents are coming to light where the serious law such as Rape has been misused by many to demand money from the wrongly accused party. Another such report from Delhi was brought out in media by BBC in 2017.
A 44-year-old Delhi estate agent’s troubles began after he caught an employee embezzling money and threatened to go to the police. The employee reacted by coercing a woman to pose as a potential house buyer who, after viewing a property, asked Gupta for a lift to the local metro station. She later accused him of driving her to an empty fourth floor apartment and raping her.
“Thankfully I had CCTV installed in my office. The whole process of taking the stairs to the fourth floor, opening the flat, taking her inside, then getting out and dropping her at the metro station would have taken at least 37 – 40 minutes. I could prove I was back in my office within 11 minutes.”
But when the woman registered her complaint to the police, Gupta found himself caught up in a system that seemed to care little about the evidence and a lot about branding him a criminal.
“Nobody listened to what I had to say. The police didn’t even consult me. I tried everything, but I didn’t get justice.”
For the next eight months as the police investigation continued, Gupta had to endure the public disgrace of being accused of rape.
“I can’t even begin to explain the ordeal that my wife, kids, my father and brother had to go through. My children have had the toughest time. My daughter, who is just six years old, would write letters to god pleading to spare her father.”
When the case finally went to court, the woman confessed she had made up the accusation and Gupta was acquitted, but much damage had already been done.
Gupta sees himself as a victim of what men’s rights campaigners say is a growing problem – the false allegations of rape.