On Monday, the Kerala High Court has directed the state police to take expeditious legal action against a woman for making a false rape complaint against a man, after having consensual sex with him.
After examining the inquiry report filed by police, the bench headed by Justice P V Kunhikrishnan observed that it has been revealed that ‘it is a false case’ and the police decided to take legal action against her under Section 182 (false information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person) of the Indian Penal Code.
“I don’t want to make any further observation in it because a case is going to be registered against the de facto complainant and the same is to be investigated by the investigating officer,” stated the HC bench. “But I make it clear that the state police chief will entrust the investigation of this case to a competent officer and the officer will expedite the investigation in accordance with the law,” added Justice Kunhikrishnan.
The alleged rape was reported in the first week of September 2020 in the Thiruvananthapuram district. Police then said the 44-year-old woman, working as a home nurse, had returned home and was asked to undergo quarantine by the health official.
She underwent an antigen test which was negative and was told by the man to collect the test certificate from his flat, the police said.
The woman, in her complaint, stated she went to his house on September 3 and was sexually assaulted after being tied and was allowed to leave only the next day.
The state women’s commission had on its own registered a case against the health official and directed the state Health secretary to initiate disciplinary action against him.
In November 2020, the High Court had granted him bail, after the woman filed an affidavit saying that the sexual intercourse between them was based on consent. However, by that time, the accused had already spent 77 days under custody. Therefore, while granting bail to the accused, the High Court had directed the State Police Chief to hold an inquiry against the woman.
Subsequently, while citing that the morale of the health workers in the state was affected because of this sensational news, the court noted that “Now the inquiry report came. The action of the petitioner who is a junior health inspector may be morally bad. But in the light of the inquiry report, no criminal offense will attract because the lady is aged 44 years and she says that she had sex with the petitioner and it was with her consent.”
“But the damage caused to the poor health workers in the state who were working day and night against the Covid-19 pandemic is irreparable,” the court said while expressing hope that the print and visual media will publish the inquiry report also in its letter and spirit to give a morale boost to the health workers in the state.