Constitutional Criminal

‘Victim of crime’ should be treated with compassion – Delhi Court

“Who all are considered to be victims? – Are victims only those who have suffered some physical injury at the hands of the offender as a direct result of crime? Or does it also include those falsely accused of rape or those who were wrongly arrested?”

This questions were raised by Delhi court Additional Sessions Judge Dr Kamini Lau while hearing a rape case where the man accused of the crime had told the court that the victim had implicated many others also in a similar manner. The man was granted bail by the court.

The court said, “I may observe that, in so far the meaning of the term ‘victim of crime is concerned, the Indian Legislature does not define the term under any law…”.

Citing from the United Nations General Assembly Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victim and Abuse of Power adopted in 1985, Dr Lau said that it would include persons who are victims of false accusations and those who have suffered imprisonment on account of the same, since wrongly being arrested on false accusations is an offence under the Indian Penal Code.

The Court emphasised that it becomes an obligation of the court to see to it that there is no abuse and false imprisonment, and misuse of Special laws relating to women.

Dr Lau said, “There has to be some checklist and safeguards devised to prevent such an abuse of Special Legislation in favour of women”.

In this regard, the suggestion of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) was welcomed which says that, “One of the safeguards in such cases where there exists a history of civil and other disputes and repeated complaints where allegations involve offence against women, then as a matter of abundant caution, the arrest of the accused should be after application of mind by the senior officers.”

Further, the Court added that it should only be a rule of caution .


Special Correspondent