This case comes as a landmark order for many men who have undergone the trauma of facing false cases, being wrongly labelled as rapists while losing dignity and honour in society. A Chennai court has awarded Rs 15 lakh to a man as compensation, who was arrested on charges of rape and who was made to face a trial for more than seven-years.
Many would argue that mere monetary compensation could not be a deterrent for stopping false cases, nonetheless, the judgement surely sends out a strong message.
Santhosh was a college student in 2009 and the alleged victim and her family were his neighbours. As they belonged to the same community, both families decided to get their children, Santhosh and the woman, married to each other.
However, later due to a property dispute between the two neighbours, both families parted their ways. Santhosh moved out of their house along with his family and shifted to another neighbourhood in Chennai.
Thereafter, he had enrolled himself for a BTech course in a private engineering college.
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Suddenly one day, the woman’s parents approached Santhosh’s parents blaming their son for impregnating their daughter. They demanded that his parents immediately arrange for their marriage. However, Santhosh outrightly denied any such relationship with the woman. This led to the woman’s parents along with the woman, lodge a complaint of rape against Santhosh.
Soon, the aspiring engineering student was arrested and remanded in judicial custody for 95 days. He was given bail on February 12, 2010. By the time the alleged accused was released from jail, the woman had already delivered her child.
DNA Test Failed
A DNA test was undertaken and it proven that Santhosh was not the father of the child. Thereafter, the case went to a trial court where a DNA analysis was ordered. Finally a Mahila Court in Chennai acquitted Santhosh on February 10, 2016.
Santhosh, through his lawyer A Sirajudeen, filed a suit demanding damages incurred by him. According to him, he had spent nearly Rs 2 lakh towards this false case and also, his college admission was discontinued due to this wrong criminal complaint. This had resulted in Santhosh losing out on his engineering degree. He was also not able to get a commercial driving license and was forced to work as an office assistant for a pittance.
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Santhosh claimed compensation of Rs 30 lakh from the woman, her family and also Secretariat Colony police inspector who investigated the case, since the false rape case not only ruined his career, but also destroyed his life.
Allowing his plea partly, a city court has granted him Rs 15 lakh as compensation. Along with the same, the court has also instructed the woman and her parents to pay this compensation since they were the ones solely responsible for such allegations on the man.
The XVIII additional city civil court in Chennai awarded the compensation payable by the complainants, however, refused to order a decree against the investigating officer.