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'Mom forced me to frame papa on rape charge' PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Times News Network   

NEW DELHI: Fact can, indeed, turn out to be stranger than fiction. Check out this real-life story.

A man was sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment by a lower court for raping his daughter. The high court found holes in the prosecution story and acquitted him.

The case moved to the Supreme Court and the apex court said such a crime couldn't go unpunished, awarding the accused a life term.

And now the daughter, on whose complaint the father is in prison, has confessed in a sworn affidavit that her dad was innocent.

She said she had framed him at the instance of her mother whose relationship with her father was strained. This bizarre case—senior lawyers say they've not heard of a more weird twist to a case—has raised several questions.

What happens to the punishment given by the SC now that its very basis has been dissolved? Will the daughter and the mother now be punished for misleading the court and tormenting the man?

How common is abuse of the law in shocking cases like rape and dowry? How rigorous is police investigation into such complaints? The story is that of Asha Ram, about whose alleged crime an anguished Supreme Court had expressed outrage, saying he had destroyed "one of the most sacred relations".

Only last week it had awarded him a life term, setting aside a Himachal Pradesh high court judgment which had disbelieved the prosecution story and had acquitted him.

Wife may get away lightly

In the West, perjury, that is, lying on oath before a court, is considered a serious crime. Millionaire author Jeffrey Archer was punished with a jail term of one year and a fine of 1,75,000 pounds in the UK.

But it is doubtful if Asha Ram's wife, accused by her own daughter in an affidavit of forcing her to level rape charges against her father, will face as stiff a penalty as Archer, because in India the punishment is not severe.

Under Indian laws, one who abets commitment of perjury (in this case Asha Ram's wife) could face punishment as if she had actually committed the offence (Section 108 of the Indian Penal Code).

The Criminal Procedure Code (Section 344) provides that anybody accused of lying on oath or giving false evidence (in this case Asha Ram's daughter) could face a summary court trial and, if convicted, could face a jail term of up to three months and a fine of Rs 500. But she being a minor at the time of trial could escape punishment.

'Cops too framed my father'

NEW DELHI: The daughter of a man, sent to jail for life for raping her, has now denied that he committed the act. The twist to the case came about when a two-page affidavit by the 'victim', was annexed to the father's fresh petition before the apex court seeking a review of its judgment holding him guilty of the offence. He had all along claimed that he had been framed at the behest of his wife.

Narrating the facts before convicting Asha Ram, the apex court in its judgment had noted that on the intervening night of August 23-24, 1988, he had come home around midnight and asked one of his daughters, who was staying with him, to bring him dinner to his room. Once she entered the room, the prosecution alleged, he had bolted the door and raped her after gagging her.

The daughter, now 31 (she was 14 at the time of the alleged rape), happily married and living with her husband and two children in a village in Nawansahar district of Punjab, has taken a considerable risk in making a sworn affidavit, for if it is proved that the affidavit is false, it could land her in jail.


She said in her affidavit, "As there was a matrimonial dispute between my mother and father, my mother wanted to take revenge and she compelled me to lodge a false case against my father...I was also compelled by my mother, under whose custody I was living, and also the police to depose in the court against my father that he committed rape. Accordingly, I deposed in the trial court against him."

She repeated in the statement that her father was innocent and said, "The police, in connivance with my mother, fabricated false case property, that is, salwar and underwear, which did not belong to me as my father never committed rape upon me."

If her statement is true, it would hit at the root of the prosecution case and finally the judgment of the SC. Added to this is her additional statement that on the day of the incident, she had never even been into her father's room. The apex court was livid with the acquittal recorded by the HC despite what it thought was clear evidence against the accused.

 



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