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Settlement in cases of rape implies justice for sale: Delhi HC | Latest News Delhi

Settlement in cases of rape implies justice for sale: Delhi HC | Latest News Delhi


Quashing cases involving allegations of sexual violence based on monetary payment would imply that justice is for sale, the Delhi high court observed while refusing to quash a rape case.

The petition stated that the complainant lodged the FIR as she was angry. (HT Archive)

“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,” a bench of justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in July 1 ruling.

The court made this observation while hearing a plea filed by a man, who sought for quashing the first information report (FIR), asserting that he had entered into a settlement with the complainant, and she was ready to settle for 1.5 lakh.

The petition stated that the complainant lodged the FIR as she was angry.

Opposing the relief, additional public prosecutor Naresh Kumar Chahar asserted that the complainant while lodging the FIR levelled serious allegations against the accused man and the settlement agreement clearly revealed that the accused was paying money to get the FIR quashed.

Consequently, the court, in the 12-page verdict, refused to quash the case observing that though the FIR highlighted issues of self-respect, life and death for the complainant and her child, the parties were seeking to settle the case based on monetary payment.

Justice Sharma opined that the parties entered into a memorandum of understanding not only on the basis of resolution of misunderstanding through family intervention, but rather in exchange for money.

“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. Therefore, even if the parties have reached a compromise, they cannot demand the quashing of an FIR as a matter of right,” the court noted.



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