Acquitted in the case after a DNA test proved he was not the father of the child the woman delivered, Santhosh filed a suit for compensation saying the false rape charge had ruined his career and life. Partly allowing his plea, a city court awarded Rs 15 lakh as compensation and directed the woman and her parents who made the false complaint to pay the compensation.
Santhosh sought Rs 30 lakh as damages from the girl, her parents and the Secretariat Colony police inspector who investigated the case. Santhosh’s lawyer A Sirajudeen said his client’s family and the woman’s family were neighbours. They belonged to the same community, it was agreed between the families that Santhosh would marry the woman.
Later, however, the families parted ways following a property dispute. Santhosh and his family shifted to another neighbourhood in Chennai.
Santhosh had enrolled for BTech in an engineering college when the woman’s mother approached his parents claiming that he had impregnated the girl and demanded that the families should arrange their marriage.
This newspaper has long held that in cases where a complaint is proven to be false and malicious, the accuser must be prosecuted at the very least for perjury and defamation. Of course, the mere fact of the accused being acquitted would not be enough to trigger such action. Acquittal can happen for various reasons, including an incompetent or compromised investigation. However, where it is established beyond doubt that the complaint was false, the accuser must not be allowed to get away with ruining somebody’s life.
After he denied any such relationship with her, she and her parents lodged a complaint of rape. He was arrested and remanded in judicial custody for 95 days. On February 12, 2010, he came out on bail. By that time, the woman had delivered a girl. A DNA test proved that Santhosh was not the child’s father. The case went for trial. A mahila court in Chennai acquitted him on February 10, 2016.
Santhosh filed the suit for damages saying he was made to spend Rs 2 lakh for case. He couldn’t get even a commercial driving licence and was forced to work as an office assistant for a pittance.