An 18 years old Delhi girl lodged a complaint against her parents for taking bribe from her rapists to pressurize her to withdraw her statement in the case before the court. The girl was raped in August 2017 and based on the complaint lodged by her, the accused were arrested. One of the accused, on being released on interim bail, approached the girl’s parents and offered them INR 20 lakh for convincing their daughter to change her statement in court and withdraw the case.
The girl approached the police and narrated the whole incident. She was kidnapped by two men unknown to her, raped her and left her in an abandoned place, the police arrested the accused and later one of them was out on interim bail. The accused out on bail, Sunil Shahi approached the girl’s parents on 8th April and offered them 20 lakhs to convince their daughter to change her statement in the case, out of which 5 lakh was taken as an advance by the parents. She accused that as soon as Shahi left the home, her parents started pressurizing her for changing her statement and even thrashed her. After being thrashed and blackmailed, she took the bag containing 5 lakh cash as an advance and approached the police station, and handed it over to police.
Police arrested the mother of the girl, who claims to know nothing about the daughter’s actions, but anyhow the father managed to flee to save himself from being arrested. The police have claimed to have launched a manhunt to arrest the accused.
It is not new in our society that the close relatives of the victim are supporting the criminals for money and pressurizing the victim to withdraw the case. Let us check what remedies the victim has against such situations:
- If someone feels or observes that her relative or parents are taking money or some other favour from the rapist for convincing her to change her statement and acts accordingly, then she can approach the police and lodge a complaint against such relatives or parents.
- Such relatives or parents shall be arrested on lodging a complaint by the victim, and the matter shall be presented before court for trial.
- On being convicted, such persons shall be punished with imprisonment with or without fine depending on the charges levied on them.
- Such activities by the relatives or parents constitute punishable offence under Indian Penal Code for threatening any person to give false evidence under Sec. 195A (seven years of imprisonment with fine), criminal intimidation under Sec. 506 (seven years of imprisonment with fine), criminal conspiracy under Sec. 120B (more than six months of punishment with or without fine).
- If the victim is a minor (less than 18 years of age), then such activities of parents shall be punishable under Sec. 75 of Juvenile Justice Act, and shall be punishable with imprisonment for three years with fine upto one lakh rupees.
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