A case of rape has been dismissed against an alleged culprit after 33 long years.
Digambar Talekar, 56-year-old resident of Pune, did not know of the rape case which was pending against him for over three decades. The case had already gone in the list of dormant files.
The Pune resident who is nearly his senior citizenship mark, has been discharged of charges of rape against him, registered in the year 1985. It was a case of the boy and girl who were in love and had eloped from their homes willingly to Mahabaleshwar. The father of the girl had lodged an FIR with the Gamdevi Police station in Mumbai on 12th December, 1985, alleging that his daughter had been raped.
On questioning the girl (alleged victim), she had confirmed that both were in a mutual relationship and that it was her decision to go to Mahabaleshwar, ‘just for fun’. The girl was then above 16-years of age.
A Sessions court concluded that the case is of love affair and elopement. There is nothing on record that both had sexual intercourse. The court while passing the orders held that the case was a love affair and that there is no evidence to prove that the accused had raped her.
How did the case sustain for 33-years without the man being summoned?
The case had gone in the list of dormant files and it was only in the year 2018 when the accused responded to the non-bailable warrant issued against him. When the accused was questioned on the lines, he said that he was already married to another woman and had a son who is studying in 12th grade.
Who is at Fault?
The Judiciary – Why did they take the rape case so casually that it took 33-years for them to overlook the response over a non-bailable warrant. The case was of an elopement so probably there was no hurry from the petitioner’s end, but is this also the way most rape cases are treated in the court of law?
The Petitioner – Why was a rape case filed when the girl had willingly eloped with the man? Was this done only to reprimand tha man by the girl’s father? Does this not reduce the sanctity of rape laws in India?
A few days ago, Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, had made similar remarks such as “rape charges are filed after an affair goes sour”. He was not only mocked but also accused of encouraging men to commit rape. The Chief Minister had also spoken on the biggest “concern”, which – according to him – was the newfound proclivity of women to lodge rape cases. He then said,
“Around 80-90% of the rape and molestation cases happen between people who are familiar with each other. They roam around together for days, and when they finally squabble one day, the woman files an FIR saying that she has been raped.”
While the Chief Minister’s remarks came under scathing attack both from the opposition, to feminists and women rights activists, some section of the society felt that his comments were misconstrued. They directly hinted at Khattar’s comments being directed to cases such as that of Digambar Talekar, which are filed after a relationship has gone sour.
While this article is not defending any comments made by the Chief Minister, we are merely linking the two cases which also exists in society today. The 33-long years for a fake rape charge could have merely destroyed the alleged rapist man’s life.
On the other hand, it is strongly recommended that every woman who files a rape case, should be met with absolute justice within a stipulated time frame. No man who is guilty should escape the law at any means.
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