A Delhi court today acquitted a man accused of rape after the woman retracted her charge and said it may not be possible to restore the accused’s dignity and honour or compensate him for the “humiliation, misery, distress and monetary loss”.
The court, while acquitting the man in a false rape case filed by a married woman, said he could also file a case for damages against the complainant.
“It cannot be ignored that the accused, due to this case which has ultimately ended in his acquittal, has also remained in custody for a considerable period and may have suffered humiliation, trauma, distress and misery besides the expenses of the litigation,” Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma said.
“It may not be possible to restore his dignity and honour nor compensate him (rape accused) for the humiliation, misery, distress and monetary loss. However, his acquittal may give him some solace. He may also file any case for damages against the prosecutrix, if advised,” the judge added.
The court also observed that his plight may continue even after his acquittal as “his implication may have caused an uproar in society but his acquittal may not even be noticed. … He will continue to suffer the stigma of being a rape case accused.”
According to the prosecution, on November 1 last year, the accused allegedly entered the complainant’s house, raped her at knife point and threatened to kill her son if she disclosed the incident to anyone.
However, in her cross-examination in court, she deposed that she had lodged a false case under pressure from her husband as he had monetary dispute with the accused.
The judge, while acquitting the man, also observed if a person, who has been freed of rape charge but has remained in custody for long, should be termed as “rape survivor”.
“The complainant, a woman or a girl who is alive, who has levelled allegations of rape by a man is now called a rape survivor. In the present case, the accused has been acquitted of the charge of rape after trial, as the prosecutrix retracted and turned hostile.
“In the circumstances, an acquitted accused, who remained in custody for a considerable period during inquiry and trial and who has been acquitted honourably, should he now be addressed as a rape case survivor? This leaves us with much to ponder about the present day situation of the veracity of the rape cases,” the judge said.
During the trial, the accused had pleaded innocence and claimed he was falsely implicated by the woman.