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Court acquits 4 in gang-rape case, says rape law being misused

Sikander and his family members were facing trial in the case on the allegations levelled against them by a woman.

New Delhi: Four family members have been acquitted of gang-rape charge by a Delhi court which termed it as a classic illustration of misuse of rape laws in which the husband of alleged victim used her as a "pawn" to settle personal scores.

The court acquitted Delhi residents Sikander, his brother Shailender and their parents Harender Mehto and Sushila of the charges and stressed the need to remain "vigilant" in "differentiating" between false and genuine rape cases so that no innocent person is convicted.

"Before parting with, I would like to put on record that this case is the classic illustration of misuse of the rape related laws. The husband of the prosecutrix, in order to settle scores with the accused, used her as an arrow or pawn and slapped an utterly false criminal case upon the accused," Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Bhat said.

"It is becoming a very difficult job, now-a-days, for the courts to differentiate the genuine rape cases from the false ones. The cases like the present one create a well founded belief among the public as well as the judiciary that the rape related laws are misused with impunity," the judge said.

Sikander and his family members were facing trial in the case on the allegations levelled against them by a woman, one of their relatives, who had claimed that she was confined and gang-raped by the two brothers and the accused also tried to sell her.

She had approached a magisterial court seeking lodging of an FIR against the accused persons alleging that Sikander had come to her matrimonial home on August 18, 2011 and told her that her father had sent him as her mother was ill after which she left with him and took her jewellery and Rs 10,000 cash.

She had alleged that Sikander made her to sit in his car and put a handkerchief on her mouth after which she became unconscious and when she regained consciousness, she found herself at his residence where other accused were also present.