Manipur HC: Indian Women Traditionally Wil Not Concot False Stories of Rape

Bhuvana Marni

Published on: October 30, 2022 at 19:55 IST

The Manipur High Court noted this while refusing anticipatory relief to four college officials accused of kidnapping and raping one of their students, saying that an Indian woman will not normally concoct a false story and allege rape for blackmail or revenge.

According to Justice MV Muralidaran, it is improbable that someone would be falsely implicated in a rape case considering the sentiments of disgust, embarrassment, and shame that a sexual assault survivor experiences and the lifetime damage.

“The stigma that attaches to the survivor of rape in Indian society ordinarily rules out the levelling of false accusations. An Indian woman traditionally will not concoct an untruthful story and bring charges of rape for blackmail, hatred, spite or revenge,” the Court said.

The prosecution claims that two teachers picked up the survivor from her home and took her to a picnic with other students and teachers.

On the way home, it was claimed that the third defendant drove the car while the other two teachers gave her an intoxicant. The three allegedly dropped her off at the home of the prime accused, the managing director of the college, where he raped her while she was unconscious.

On the other side, the applicants argued that the prime accused and the survivor had been in a relationship for five years before their decision to elope on the day of the picnic to get married.

They also said that when the accused and the survivor went to the accused’s house the next day to conduct a matrimonial ceremony, the survivor’s sister suddenly started hitting her and persuaded her to file a false case. They thus requested anticipatory bail.

The four accused were evading arrest despite several attempts, and the police informed the court, thus they had to be classified as proclaimed offenders. They also opposed bailing applications.

The Court noted that the evidence presented and witness testimony, including the survivor’s, proved the primary accused’s involvement in a conspiracy with his subordinate staff to abduct the survivor and rape her.

“The prima facie material also establishes that the petitioner Surjitkumar had committed a heinous crime against his student and thus it is a blot on the student-teacher relationship, which deserves no leniency,” it added.

The court further noted that anticipatory bail is not an option when an accused is “absconding” or a “proclaimed offender,” according to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Lavesh vs. State.

According to the Supreme Court, anticipatory bail may be granted when the court feels the case is false.

However, the Court concluded that, given our traditional society, a lady wouldn’t jeopardize her reputation by making a false accusation of sexual assault.

“Time and again, the Hon’ble Apex Court held that the important thing that the Court has to bear in mind is that what is lost by a rape survivor is face. The survivor loses value as a person. Ours is a conservative society and, therefore, a woman and more so a young woman will not put her reputation in peril by alleging falsely about forcible sexual assault,” it stated.

Considering the nature and gravity of the offence, the severity of punishment, the possibility of the accused repeating similar or other offences, the impact on the public if bail is granted, and the fact that the accused was evading arrest, the Court refused to grant them anticipatory bail.

Case Title: Yumnam Surjit Kumar Singh vs. The Officer-in-Charge and Anr.

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