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False rape plaints raise concern over misuse of law

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: November 15, 2018
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/false-rape-plaints-raise-concern-over-misuse-of-law/articleshow/66626880.cms

One day a man is accused of a heinous crime of rape, but the complainant soon changes her mind and claims it was a ‘misunderstanding’. This happened not once, but in three cases in Surat in the past two months, raising serious concern over misuse of the rape laws to settle scores.
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'Senior citizen's rape ruse
A 75-year-old woman in Vyara accused 37- year old Manhar Gamit of rape in 2015. She later told court she had lodged an FIR following dispute. The HC dropped the charges, observing "the entire case seems highly doubtful."

"Broken promises a trigger
Breach of a marriage promise or love relationships gone awry or lack of acceptance by families are a common trigger for false rape complaints, say legal experts. Sanand's Dashrath Patel and Surat's Kalpesti Malvi married the complainants after family members of the girls lodged FI Rs. Kanji Vaghasiya's fiancee lodged a rape complaint after he broke off their engagement.

Court stance
When the courts come to know that serious charges are falsely levelled because of other disputes between the parties and the complainants are not going to support the case, the judges put an end to such proceedings," said a public prosecutor.

Delhi court's view
According to a report in ET earlier this year, in a case where a women was found 'lying' about sexual harassment by her employer, a Delhi court took a strict stand and ordered the police to book the woman for giving false evidence. The court want on to say it can't shut eyes to the reality of false Fl Rs. "Judicial process can't be overturned by witnesses who do somersaults in court. Such witnesses should be dealt with sternly." the court said.
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In all three cases, the police machinery swung into action. In two cases, the accused were even put behind bars. However, they were spared the trauma of a trial and long incarceration only because the complainants later affirmed they had lodged the rape complaints due to “misunderstanding”.

The first case involved ex-BJP vice-president Jayanti Bhanushali who was accused of rape by a 22-year-old woman. While Bhanushali protested the accusations were politically motivated, his troubles ended only when the woman turned up before Gujarat high court to confirm she had lodged the complaint following a dispute and that things had been “resolved amicably”.

In the case of IVF treatment specialist Dr Praful Doshi, a patient slapped rape charges on him, but later retracted saying it was the result of “some misunderstanding and misconception”.

Similarly, a Swaminarayan priest, Karanswarupdas alias Nikunj Baby Sawani, was put behind bars following a complaint of rape. It later emerged the alleged victim had filed a false complaint after a fall out between the priest and her parents.

Across the state, there have been similar cases of false rape complaints. A complainant had accused a lecturer in a Jamnagar women’s college, Jayesh Sureja, of rape. Police probe revealed the allegations were the result of a property dispute and the matter was “amicably resolved” between the complainant and the accused.

The HC quashed a similar FIR against Pritesh Panchal from Anand district in 2015 after the complainant told the court that she had been in a relationship with the accused and rape charges were levelled only with a view to save her marital life.

In 2016, Chetan Darji, a student from Patan was accused of rape by his girlfriend. She later clarified she had done it fearing her family after they were spotted together in hostel. The girl’s father filed an affidavit stating the matter had been “amicably settled.”

A woman working in a hospital lodged a rape complaint against a Rajkot-based doctor. She subsequently admitted they had been in a relationship and she had got pregnant. She did not press charges after the doctor assured he would take care of her.
 
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