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‘Extortion racket’ — Punjab & Haryana HC denies bail to woman accused of framing man in rape case

The Punjab & Haryana HC was told by the police that the woman 'habitually' filed cases alleging sexual assault, falsely implicating men and their family members.

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New Delhi: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected the bail application of a woman — who had filed nine cases against different men alleging sexual assault between September 2020 and November 2021 — in an extortion case.

The accused woman was arrested for allegedly blackmailing a woman and her son with the threat of filing a false rape case and demanding money from them.

Denying the accused woman bail, a single judge bench of Justice Ashok Kumar Verma, in its order dated 7 December, said, “Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, gravity of the alleged offences and the fact that the petitioner is a habitual of filing cases against different persons but without commenting upon the merits of the case, I am of the considered view that the petitioner does not deserve the concession of regular bail.”

The court was hearing a petition filed by the accused woman under Section 439 (for bail), read with Section 482 (for quashing of the proceedings against her) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The woman was arrested on 27 January this year in connection with an extortion FIR filed on 29 December last year in Gurugram, Haryana, under provisions of the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 195A (threatening any person to give false evidence), 34 (common intention), 384 (extortion), and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.

The FIR was filed by the mother of a Gurugram-based man. The complainant had alleged that the accused woman had taken her son to the hills near a farm in Haryana and started indulging in “obscene activities” with him. She has alleged that when her son objected to this, the accused woman began harassing her son. The accused woman has since allegedly threatened the complainant’s son with a rape case and has been demanding “money for settlement”.

In her defence, the accused woman told the court that she was friends with the complainant’s son, and that he had taken “undue advantage” of their friendship. She alleged that the man forcefully had unnatural sex with her on the false promise to marry her. She submitted that she had also filed a complaint against him on 28 November last year at the women’s police station, Gurugram, and that the mother’s FIR was a counter to her complaint.

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9 cases filed against different people

Through an affidavit filed on 8 October, the court was told by the police that the woman had filed nine FIRs between September 2020 and November 2021, against “young boys and their family members”.

The court was also informed that in at least three of these nine cases, proceedings under Section 182 (false information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person) of the IPC were initiated against the accused woman after the allegations in those FIRs were found to be false.

The court also noted that there was another extortion FIR registered against her on 23 December 2021 in Gurugram.

The state had, therefore, challenged her bail application, alleging that she has a pattern of falsely implicating boys and their family members for offences such as rape and outraging a woman’s modesty, in order to blackmail them.

Taking note of these submissions, the court observed, “The petitioner is running [a] racket for extortion of money from the persons against whom the allegations have been made by her.”

(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)

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