The Allahabad High Court recently granted bail to two men accused of raping a woman in Varanasi in 2019, citing the increasing prevalence of false implication in sexual offences in modern-day India. Justice Krishan Pahal cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Bharwada Bhoginbhai Hirjibhai v. State of Gujarat, which stated that it was unlikely for a woman in modern-day India to falsely accuse someone of sexual assault.
The court did note, however, that Indian society has changed significantly since the judgement was handed down four decades ago, and false implication in sexual offences is now on the rise.
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On August 5, 2019, a FIR was filed against the accused in Meerut and was forwarded to the police of Rohaniya in Varanasi District for investigation. The FIR was filed on September 9, 2019. The accused’s counsel contended that the survivor’s medical examination revealed no internal or external injuries to back up the prosecution’s allegations against the applicants.
They also claimed that the accused were falsely implicated in the case because they had inquired about the illegal activities being carried out by the survivor and other activists of the Ashram she was associated with.
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The state opposed the bail applications, claiming that the accused had committed a heinous act with the survivor and that it was not possible for a woman in Indian society to falsely accuse someone of rape. They claimed that the delay in filing the FIR was due to the victim’s pressure and Indian values of not disclosing such acts. Before determining that the accused had made out a case for bail, the court considered the evidence on record, the excessive delay in filing the FIR, and the fact that the trial was nearing its conclusion.
Finally, the decision of the Allahabad High Court to grant bail to the accused in a rape case demonstrates the rise of false implication in sexual offences in modern-day India. The court’s decision also emphasises the importance of considering the evidence on record, the excessive delay in filing the FIR, and the facts and circumstances of each case before deciding on bail.
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