The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered action against a woman under the Protection of Children from Sexual offences (POCSO) Act, for falsely accusing her husband of raping their daughter. Justice Anand Venkatesh, quashed all charges against the father who was accused and cautioned that this decision will be a lesson for those who attempt to misuse the Act.
According to the court order, the couple got married in 2003 and had two children aged 11 and one and a half. In 2018, the woman alleged that the father had raped the 11-year-old girl and impregnated her. She further claimed that the pregnancy was terminated with the use of 'native medicine'. Based on a complaint from her, a case was filed for an offence under Section 6 of the POCSO Act. The father was however granted anticipatory bail after the minor daughter was questioned by the High court. The young girl denied allegations of rape or any sexual contact with her father.The father then appealed to the court to quash the case and stated that the complaint against him was false and had been filed by his wife due to personal dispute. On further investigation, the court concurred with his appeal.
"This Court summoned the 164 statement recorded by the learned Additional Family Court Judge, Egmore, from the victim girl. While questioning, the victim girl has clearly narrated the entire incident and it can be seen that the wife was attempting to take the daughters into her custody and for that purpose she has cooked up a false story against the petitioner," reads the order copy.
"The victim girl has gone to the extent of saying that she and her younger sister wanted to go with their father, when enquired by the learned Judge," it states.
The girl further told the High Court that she had not undergone any treatment at a hospital to abort a child, as alleged by the mother.
Angered by the direction the case had taken, Justice Anand Venkatesh noted, "This case has shocked the conscience of this Court and it is unbelievable that the mother just for the sake of taking custody of her child, can go to the extent of making such serious allegations against her husband by alleging that he is having physical contact with his own daughter."
He pointed out that 'cheap tactics' had been adopted to make the husband fall in line.
"There were instances when the attention of this Court was drawn to similar such incidents, where false complaints were given as if the husband has committed an offence under POCSO Act against the daughter and it was informed to this Court that such cheap tactics are adopted in the family court cases, just to arm twist the husband and make him fall in line. This Court was not willing to believe that such instances can happen and this case is an eye opener for this Court. This Court was made aware, the extent to which POCSO Act can be misused," he stated.
Finally the judge declared that the prosecution against the petitioner should not continue even for a minute more and ordered that the FIR against him be quashed. The judge added that the woman should not be let off and she should be made to 'suffer the consequences for having given a false complaint against her husband at the cost of her own daughter'.
"The police is directed to immediately proceed against the 2nd respondent under Section 22 of the POCSO Act for having given a false complaint and take action against her in accordance with law. This case should be a lesson for all those who attempt to misuse the provisions of this Act, just to satisfy their own selfish ends."