A daily wage laborer from Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam district has sought Rs 10,000 crores in damages after he was acquitted around 2 months ago in a false rape case after spending 2 years in jail for the same.
Kantilal Singh alias Kantu, 30, was charged in 2018 for allegedly gangraping a woman with two children. According to the woman’s complaint, Kantu took her on his bike on the pretext of dropping her to her brother’s house but instead took her to a forest where he allegedly raped her. Per the complaint, he later called the co-accused Bheru who took her to Indore on the pretext of labor work but instead raped her for 6 months.
A case was registered on July 20, 2018, against Kantu and Bheru on IPC charges 366 (kidnap) and 376 (gangrape). “He reportedly kept trying to change his location for two years trying to escape the police for a crime that he never committed”, his lawyer said.
Kantu was arrested on Dec 23, 2020, and both the accused were acquitted in Oct, 2022 after a sessions court observed that the prosecution failed to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Kantu said that he was the sole bread-earner of his family and the false jail time pushed his family to starvation and his children were forced to quit their studies. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” he said.
He has claimed damages of Rs 10,000 crores for “mental agony and suffering, loss of life and income, loss of freedom and family life, and also loss of god’s gift to humans – sexual pleasure”. Apart from this, Kantu has also filed a suit against the state of Madhya Pradesh, the husband of the woman who alleged being gang-raped by Kantilal, and three police personnel.
“The figure claimed by my client as damages may seem unrealistic, but it’s too small compared to the harassment caused to him. Even animals get protection, but there is no law for protecting men from being implicated like this,” said Kantu’s lawyer.
It is worth noting that in cases like the above wherein the accused are acquitted due to non-establishment of guilt, it is often a case of the victim not being able to “prove the occurrence of violence”. However, it may not necessarily mean that the violence did not happen. It can unfortunately only be termed as the justice system facing a block.