The Allahabad High Court has highlighted the issue of false FIRs being filed against innocent individuals under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act).

The Court added that these false claims not only tarnish the reputation of those accused but also are used by women as a weapon to grab money from the State. The Court has ordered authorities to conduct an inquiry and initiate criminal proceedings against the victim under Section 344 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) after conducting an inquiry if the FIR is found to be false.

The Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav observed, “Before parting with the case, it would be appropriate to observe that in the society, there are certain false FIR under the POCSO as well as SC/ST Act is lodged against innocent persons ruined their image in the society just for taking money from the State. It is very unfortunate that now a days, in maximum cases the women is using it as a weapon just to grab money, which should be stopped…Looking to the rampant and daily increasing prevalence of such type of crimes of sexual violence, I think that it is high time that the State of U.P. and even the Union of India should become sensitive to this grave issue”.

“Under the circumstances, it is directed that in case it is found that the FIR lodged by the victim is false, then criminal proceeding under Section 344 Cr.P.C. against the victim shall be initiated after conducting inquiry. It is also directed that in case any money is given by the State to the victim, the same shall also be recovered from the victim”, the Court asserted.

Advocate Hari Prakash Tiwari appeared for the Applicant and Advocate Nehal Beg appeared for the Respondent.

In this case, the applicant filed a Bail Application for offences under Sections 376, 313, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO. The Applicant contended that the offences levelled against him are false and that the victim was a consenting party to the sexual intercourse. The incident allegedly occurred in 2011, but the FIR was filed in 2019 with any plausible explanation for the delay, the Applicant argued. Additionally, he argued that the co-accused was granted anticipatory bail.

The Court noted, “As per version of the FIR, it has been mentioned that the applicant made physical relation with the victim in the year 2012 whereas in the statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C. the victim has stated that applicant made physical relation in the year 2013”.

The Court observed that there were material contradictions in the statement of the victim which were recorded under Sections 161 and 164 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The Court placed reliance on the case of Sushila Aggarwal vs. State (NCT of Delhi) [2020 SCC Online SC 98] and granted anticipatory bail to the Applicant.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the application and granted anticipatory bail to the Applicant

Cause Title: Ajay Yadav v. State of U.P. and 3 Others (2023:AHC:161400)

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