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It is time now to have laws to protect and restore the dignity of men charged with false rape cases as everyone is just fighting to protect the honour of women, a Delhi court has said.
While laws are being made for protection of women, some of whom may misuse them, nobody talks about the dignity and honour of a man, Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma said while acquitting a man of charges of raping a woman known to him in Uttam Nagar area of West Delhi in 2013.
"It may not be possible to restore the dignity and honour of the accused nor compensate him for the humiliation, misery, distress and monetary loss. However, his acquittal may give him some solace. He may also file any case for damages against the prosecutrix, if advised.
"No one discusses about the dignity and honour of a man as all are only fighting for the rights, honour and dignity of women. Laws for protection of women are being made, which may be misused by a woman, but where is the law to protect a man from such a woman where he is being persecuted and implicated in false cases, as in the present case. Perhaps, now it is the time to take a stand for a man," the judge said.
The court also pondered whether a person acquitted of rape charges be considered as a "rape survivor".
The court said it cannot be ignored that due to this case, the man has suffered humiliation, distress and misery besides litigation expenses.
"His plight may also continue after his acquittal as his implication may have caused an uproar in society but his acquittal may not even be noticed. He would continue to suffer the stigma of being a rape case accused. He has remained in custody for a considerable period," it noted.
According to the prosecution, the woman had alleged she was raped by the man in October 2013 and also sexually assaulted her one-and-a-half years ago and in that case he was acquitted by a Saket court.
During trial, the man claimed he was innocent and said he knew the woman for five years and she was trying to extort money from him. He had also said that the physical relations between them was consensual.
While acquitting the man, the court held that there were several contradictions in the woman's statements, which were also not reliable.
It noted that the woman had also filed an affidavit stating she had established physical relations with the accused on her own will.