The Allahabad High Court while dealing with a petition filed by a rape victim under Article 227 of the Constitution against the order passed by the C.J.M. i.e., Chief Judicial Magistrate has quashed the said order in which the application filed under Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code was rejected.

The Court also remanded the matter back to the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

A Single Bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi stated –

"After perusing the entire material on record including the impugned orders, I have got no hesitation to say that the impugned orders are well short of the standard set up by Hon'ble Apex Court (as mentioned above). Thus, impugned orders dated 18.4.2022 and 28.7.2021 are hereby quashed and the matter is remanded back to learned C.J.M., Meerut with a direction to re-consider and re-visit the entire matter once again and decide the same in the light of the ratio laid down by Hon'ble Apex Court in aforementioned judgment, by passing a well reasoned order in accordance with law within a period of six weeks from the date of production of certified copy of this order."

Advocate Ravindra Kumar Shrivastava appeared on behalf of the petitioner i.e., the rape victim while Government Advocate represented the respondents.

Brief Facts –

The petitioner i.e., the rape victim filed an application U/s 156(3) of the Cr. PC. stating therein that she is a married woman and mother of two children who are 18 and 14 years of age. The petitioner and the accused were working as lecturers. The accused was having a lustful eye over the petitioner and he used to tease her due to which she got disturbed. She restrained him not to do such misbehaving deeds but he did not downward. During the intervening period, the accused after showing his fellow feelings convinced the petitioner to go with him and collect the study material for the M.Ed. examination. After reaching his house, she got to know that he was residing there alone, then she immediately tried to return from there. The accused bolted the door from the inside and ravished her. He also took her obscene photos and videos and on that score, he used to harass and blackmail her time and again.

Ditched and perturbed, the petitioner went to the police station lodging the F.I.R. When no action was taken on her application, the petitioner sent an application to the S.P., Meerut but none of the authorities paid any heed to her earnest request of lodging the F.I.R. Left with no option, the petitioner moved an application U/s 156(3) of the Cr.PC. before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut who rejected her application. Aggrieved by such order, the petitioner moved a revision before the Sessions Court that rejected the revision and affirmed the order of C.J.M. On these factual aspects of the issue, aggrieved by both orders of rejection, the petitioner approached the High Court assailing the legality and validity of the same.

The High Court in the above regard, noted, "… from the aforesaid it is clear that the legislature in its wisdom have added the proviso clause in Section 154(1) Cr.P.C. in the year 2013 itself with all the safeguards especially 154(3) Cr.P.C. In fact this addition was a conscious attempt by the legislation, making it incumbent and mandatory to every S.S.P./S.P. to look into the matter if any such complaint is received by him and shall have a preliminary investigation either by himself or some of his subordinate and then lodge a suitable F.I.R. The legislation in its own wisdom have planned to use the stage machinery to investigate into all those offences, in which the women are poor victims of the atrocities committed by male."

The Court while referring to the Supreme Court case of XYZ v. State of M.P. and others in Criminal appeal No.1184 of 2022 observed that the Court should press upon the police for the investigation where the victim is already under the stage of trauma.

The Court further said, "It is also expected from the courts to remain cognizant of the fact that legal process tends to be even more onerous for complainants who are potentially dealing with trauma and societal shame due to the unwarranted stigma attached to victims of sexual harassment and assault. The Court should be sensitive enough to fathom the agony and the mental trauma faced by the poor victim and it is the onerous responsibility of the courts to agitate the police agency to hold an in-depth probe into the matter. The legislature have consciously moulded the criminal procedure to enable victims of sexual crimes to seek justice."

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the petition.

Cause Title – XYZ v. State of U.P. and 2 Others

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