Courts Update Rape victim does not have locus standi to seek...

Rape victim does not have locus standi to seek quashing of FIR against accused: Himachal Pradesh High Court

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Himachal Pradesh Aug 26(ILNS): The Himachal Pradesh High Court has observed that a victim of a sexual offense cannot have any locus standi to approach the Court for quashing of an FIR registered for the sexual assault, which she had faced.

A Single-Judge Bench comprised of Justice Anoop Chitkara passed this order on August 24, while dismissing a Criminal Miscellaneous petition filed under Section 482 CrPC by the rape victim.

The 20-year-old girl, the alleged victim of a sexual assault, has come up before the Court by filing the petition under Section 482 CrPC, seeking quashing of the FIR registered at her instance against the accused on the grounds that now they have decided to marry.

On December 25, 2020, based on the information of the rape victim, the FIR was registered in Police Station Fatehpur for the offenses of rape and criminal intimidation.

The victim alleged that when she was walking on the road, the accused approached her and offered her a lift in his car. After some time, he offered her water and then in the car made drinks. When she was taking drinks, the accused told her that he had made a video taking drinks and he was going to post it on Facebook. After that, he took her somewhere in the darkness, threatened her, and committed rape upon her. At around 2.30 a.m. he dropped her outside her home.

The Counsel representing the petitioner stated that both have come together to the Court.

The plea sought quashing of FIR, supported by the affidavit of the petitioner. Given this, the Court felt it appropriate to appoint a Legal Aid Counsel for the petitioner-victim.

At the request of Legal Aid Counsel, the matter was ordered to be called after a respite, so as to enable Legal Aid Counsel to interact with the victim.

Narvada, Legal Aid Counsel, submitted that they have interacted with the victim in isolation. They further stated that based on their interaction with the victim, this Court should pass an order that the admissions made by the victim in this petition should not be read as evidence in any Court and even should not be taken as an admission on her behalf.

“Strangely, in the petition, the accused has not been arraigned as a party. Thus, the accused has not taken any responsibility on his shoulder, nor has he admitted any fact whatsoever. The Court is of the considered belief that the victim of a sexual offense cannot have any locus standi to approach a Court for quashing of an FIR registered for the sexual assault which she had faced,” the Court observed.

The Bench ordered that the contents of this petition and the affidavit of the petitioner shall not be read as evidence before any Court or any proceedings whatsoever. Furthermore, the Legal Aid Counsel shall also not be called for any purpose, including cross-examination or to contradict the petition.

“The Court refrains and restrains from observing any further. There is a lot to read between the lines,” it added.

At this stage, the Counsel for the petitioner submitted that he be given liberty to file a fresh petition on behalf of the accused.

Nand Lal Thakur, Additional Advocate General, strongly objected to such liberty and claimed that no liberty should be given to the accused to file a fresh petition.

The Court observed that there is no merit in the petition and the same is dismissed accordingly with no liberty whatsoever./ILNS/AP/SNG

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