In the case of Pritpal Kaur v. State of Punjab and another [CRM-M No. 14954 of 2020 (O&M)], a bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill of the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that the proceedings initiated by the petitioner were ‘false and frivolous’ and imposed in her a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
The petitioner had claimed that she was being raped and blackmailed by a local Congress worker and sought a CBI probe to look into the mater as she was of the opinion that the administration was unwilling to take steps regarding the same given the political connections of the accused.
After considering the arguments and facts, the court stated, “the proceedings initiated by the petitioner are false and frivolous. From the facts and circumstances delineated above, it is clearly established that an attempt has been made to not only abuse the process of law but also overawe the authorities. Hence, keeping in view the law laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court, it is a fit case, where an exemplary cost should be imposed upon the petitioner.”
FACTS OF THE CASE
The petitioner is a woman who is employed as a Nurse (ANM) in a dispensary at village Himmatpura, Tehsil Nihal Singh Wala, District Moga.
The accused, Varun Joshi, being represented by Advocate Arshdeep Singh Brar, is an active member of the local wing of the ruling party and was accused of blackmailing her with respect to certain pictures and videos of her which were taken in a compromising position that were in his possession.
He threatened to upload such content unless the petitioner involved herself in a physical relationship with the accused or paid him a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs.
The mother of the petitioner thought it appropriate to compromise with the accused keeping in mind the dignity and social stand of her daughter, and paid Varun a sum of Rs. 4 lakhs in the presence of one Balwinder Singh in December 2019, upon receiving confirmation from the accused that all such objectionable videos and pictures would be deleted by him.
The accused thereafter visited the petitioner at her workplace saying that a few of such content were still in his position which would be deleted by him on a further payment of Rs. 3 lakhs.
On being made aware of the inability to pay such amount, Varun had allegedly “took her in an Innova car to an isolated place and after removing her clothes, had committed rape upon her against her wishes.”
DETAILS OF THE COMPLAINT
It was claimed by the petitioner that no action was taken against the accused by the police after she had lodged a complaint in the police station.
Thereafter, she approached the Senior Superintendent of Police at Moga on May 22nd, 2020 where she got recorded her statement. It was to the utter surprise of the petitioner when instead of registering an FIR based on her complaint, a two-member committee was constituted comprising two members, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Crime Against Women, Moga, and a lady Inspector to enquire into the matter.
The petitioner further claimed that the “Deputy Superintendent of Police-respondent No. 4 threatened the petitioner to settle the matter with Varun Joshi-respondent No. 7 as he happens to be the man of means and belonging to the ruling party.”
The petitioner had then approached the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Moga where an application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. was moved by her for issuing directions to SHO, Police Station Nihal Singh Wala, for registration of an FIR against the accused Varun Joshi.
The said application was allowed and the Station House Officer, Nihal Singh Wala was directed to investigate the matter after the registration of such FIR. Thus, FIR No. 69 dated 02.06.2020 under Section 376 IPC was registered.
The petitioner claimed that she “was neither medically examined nor her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. was got recorded and instead, an enquiry was initiated on the application of Ashok Kumar, father of Varun Joshi and the petitioner had been pressurized to settle the matter.”
STANCE OF THE COURT
The Court stated “On the stand taken by the petitioner, this Court had directed the Director General of Police, Punjab to constitute an SIT. In the report of the SIT and the status report of Inspector General of Police, it has been concluded that a fake FIR was got registered by the petitioner against respondent No. 7 and has further recommended for presentation of supplementary challan/cancellation report. The allegations raised by the petitioner in the FIR are not proved as the call location of the petitioner and respondent No. 7 show different places as from the one where the alleged rape was committed. The investigation regarding the stay of the petitioner and respondent No. 7 in Hotel Sneh Mohan, at Jagraon was conducted and the statement of the Manager was also recorded and a conclusion was drawn that the petitioner and respondent No. 7 had stayed there on different dates on friendly basis.
The SIT has also drawn a conclusion that there was a friendly relationship between the petitioner and respondent No. 7 and the dispute between them arose only when the petitioner made a written complaint to the Gram Panchayat of village Bilaspur against her husband, daughter and her in-laws' family and showed her desire to stay away from them.”
The present petition was thereby dismissed “with costs of Rs. 1.00 lac, to be paid and deposited by the petitioner with the Institute for the Blind, Sector-26, Chandigarh.”
The trial Court was instructed to proceed further with the case pending before it, in accordance with law.
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