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Cancelling rape case on monetary payments will Imply justice is for sale’: HC | Latest News Delhi

Cancelling rape case on monetary payments will Imply justice is for sale’: HC | Latest News Delhi


NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has rejected a petition to cancel a 2020 rape case, underscoring that quashing cases involving allegations of sexual violence based on monetary payment would imply that justice is for sale.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said the court believed that “true justice and the ends of justice will be served not by quashing the FIR without a trial (HT FILE PHOTO/Shruti Kakkar)

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma also stressed that the bench could not allow the complainant and the accused to manipulate the criminal justice system and that it was crucial to ascertain the real culprit.

“This court is of the opinion that justice in a criminal trial, particularly in a case such as the present one, serves not only as a serious example and deterrent to the accused but also as a lesson to the community as a whole. Neither the accused nor the complainant can be allowed to manipulate the criminal justice system or misuse State and judicial resources to serve their own ends,” the bench said.

Justice Sharma said the court believed that “true justice and the ends of justice will be served not by quashing the FIR without a trial, but by conducting a trial to fairly ascertain the real culprit, whether it be the accused or the complainant,” the bench said in its verdict of July 1.

A Delhi man accused of rape by a woman he had met online petitioned the high court to quash the first information report, saying the complainant had filed the case against her because she was angry with him and that they had entered into a settlement agreement on payment of 1.5 lakh.

Additional public prosecutor Naresh Kumar Chahar opposed the petition, arguing that it would be a travesty of justice and an abuse of the criminal justice system if the complainant was allowed to withdraw the case.

In its 12-page ruling, justice Sharma observed that the two parties had entered into a memorandum of understanding not on the basis of a resolution of misunderstanding through family intervention but rather an exchange of money. “However, this court is of the opinion that criminal cases involving allegations of sexual violence cannot be quashed on the basis of monetary payments, as doing so would imply that justice is for sale”.

“Further, if the prosecutrix has made false allegations and lodged a false FIR, she must face the consequences if proven. Therefore, this case does not merit the quashing of the FIR but necessitates a trial to determine whether the accused committed the offences or whether the complainant lodged a false complaint and now seeks to settle by accepting Rs. 1.5 lakhs.”

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