In a recent development, the Kerala High Court made a significant decision to quash a sexual assault and rape complaint filed by a minor daughter against her father. The court found that the accusations were false and stemmed from the daughter’s objection to her father’s disapproval of her relationship with a boy.

Justice Gopinath P, presiding over the case (CRL.MC NO. 8258 OF 2023 – XXX v State of Kerala), based the decision on the mother’s affidavit and a report from the Victim Rights Centre, asserting that the complaint lacked credibility. The court clarified that the dismissal of serious charges like rape was not due to a settlement but a genuine belief in the father’s innocence.

The petitioner, the father, approached the court seeking to quash the case after his daughter accused him of sexual assault and rape. Intriguingly, it was revealed during the proceedings that the father insisted on filing a complaint against a boy who had allegedly sexually abused his minor daughter.

According to the court’s findings, the daughter, in continuation of her relationship with the boy, was coerced into filing a false complaint against her father. This revelation played a pivotal role in the court’s decision to dismiss the case against the father.

The court sought the assistance of Advocate Parvathy Menon, Project Co-Ordinator at the Victim Rights Centre, who submitted a report indicating that the daughter had indeed lodged false allegations against her father. The mother, in her affidavit, affirmed that the false complaint was a result of the daughter’s displeasure with her father’s objections to her relationship.

Referring to a precedent (Vishnu v State of Kerala – 2023), the court highlighted the possibility of parents or guardians entering into a compromise for non-compoundable sexual offences on behalf of a minor if it serves the child’s best interests.

The court’s decision to quash the proceedings was grounded in the belief that the daughter’s accusations were baseless, as indicated by the mother’s affidavit and the report from the Victim Rights Centre. It further noted that the victim’s close relatives, including her mother, maternal grandfather, and maternal uncles, corroborated the false nature of the complaint.

The ruling emphasized the delicate balance between addressing serious criminal charges and ensuring justice. The court clarified that the decision to dismiss the case was not a precedent for settling serious offences but a response to the compelling evidence proving the falsity of the allegations.

Advocate M P Priyeshkumar represented the petitioner, while Senior Public Prosecutor Noushad K A acted on behalf of the respondents. The case, as reported in 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 41, serves as a notable example of the legal system’s commitment to discerning the truth in intricate cases of familial discord.

In conclusion, the Kerala High Court’s decision to quash the false rape case against the father underscores the importance of thoroughly examining the merits of each case. It sends a message about the need for genuine evidence and a nuanced understanding of familial dynamics to ensure justice is served appropriately.

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