A New Delhi man acquitted of rape under false promise of marriage has standing to sue his accuser for humiliation and emotional trauma. The court allowed him to sue the woman after acquitting him of rape, battery, and criminal intimidation. The acquittal resulted from the woman changing her testimony and stating their sexual relationship was consensual.
Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma stated that the accused had the right to seek damages beyond litigation expenses. Feminist lawyer Indira Jaising helpfully speculated that just because an accuser changes her story doesn’t make an acquittal “honorable.” (I wasn’t aware there were different grades of acquittal. Maybe it’s an Indian Law thing.) She also speculated that maybe they reached a settlement, despite there being no indication of such. Or maybe, the accuser just finally decided to tell the truth. Weird thought, huh?
The woman initially filed her accusation in February 2013, claiming that the man gave her a drugged drink, then raped her. She also claimed that he raped her several more times between February and August, promised to marry her, and threatened to publish “obscene” videos he made of them. She changed her story during the trial, claiming that all of their sexual intercourse was consensual.
The court determined there was no evidence (beyond the accuser’s false statement) that the accused drugged, raped, or beat her, videotaped her, or threatened to publish “obscene” videos of her.