Himachal Pradesh High Court Quashes False Rape Case, Citing Amicable Resolution and Protection of Family Harmony

Himachal Pradesh High Court quashes rape case against accused due to fabricated charges stemming from opposition to relationship. Couple married, raising child.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court recently delivered a significant judgment, quashing a rape case upon discovering it was falsely filed due to external influence and opposition to the relationship between the accused and the alleged victim. Justice Ranjan Sharma presided over the case, acknowledging that the alleged victim and the accused had already solemnized their marriage before the criminal case was initiated, and had even welcomed a child together out of wedlock.

In light of these circumstances, Justice Sharma expressed concern that the continuation of the criminal case would not only tarnish the reputation of the alleged victim but also subject the couple and their child to irreparable harassment. "Giving a quietus to entire criminal proceedings shall promote harmony, orderly behavior, and conduct amongst themselves. Any reverse action in continuing with the FIR and criminal proceedings shall lead to reviving bitterness, restoring inimical relations not only amongst themselves but may adversely affect their respective families and relations also," the Court reasoned.

The case revolved around a plea by the accused man to quash the rape charges against him, which included Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act). The accused contended that certain individuals, dissatisfied with his relationship with the alleged victim, orchestrated the filing of the rape case in 2023.

However, it was revealed that the matter had since been resolved amicably following intervention by the alleged victim herself and the accused man's family. The Court sought the personal response of the woman, who appeared and corroborated the accused man's assertions. Moreover, her father and the original complainant also supported the decision to quash the case.

Ultimately, Justice Sharma concluded that pursuing the rape case against the accused would serve no fruitful purpose. "The societal effect of continuing with the proceedings shall lead to tarnishing the reputation, spoiling her life, irreparable harassment, and hardships not only to the Victim but also her offspring, which can never be the intent of law," the Court articulated.

Consequently, the Court quashed the rape case, stating, "This Court, in the peculiar facts of this case, interdicts and renders the FIR and the consequential criminal proceedings as inoperative for all intents and purposes, qua the petitioner."

Advocates Manoj Pathak and Harsh Shroal represented the petitioner (accused man), while Deputy Advocate General Ajit Sharma represented the State.