Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the police to register a case against a woman who had made a false complaint that she was raped by a junior health inspector while under quarantine.
After examining the inquiry report filed by police, the court observed that it has been revealed that "it is a false case" and the police decided to take legal action against her under IPC Section 182 (false information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person).
"I don't want to make any further observation in it because a case is going to be registered against the de facto complainant and the same is to be investigated by the investigating officer. The officer concerned will investigate the case, untrammelled by any observation in this order."
"But I make it clear that the state police chief will entrust the investigation of this case to a competent officer and the officer will expedite the investigation in accordance with the law," Justice P V Kunhikrishnan said in his order.
The court said the morale of the health workers in the state was affected because of this sensational news.
"Now the inquiry report came. The action of the petitioner who is a junior health inspector may be morally bad. But in the light of the inquiry report, no criminal offence will attract because the lady is aged 44 years and she says that she had sex with the petitioner and it was with her consent."
"But the damage caused to the poor health workers in the state who were working day and night against the Covid-19 pandemic is irreparable," the court said while expressing hope that the print and visual media will publish the inquiry report also in its letter and spirit to give a morale boost to the health workers in the state.
When the court considered the bail plea of the junior health inspector in November last year, the woman had informed in an affidavit that the incident was consensual.
The court while granting bail had directed the state police chief to depute a senior police officer to conduct an inquiry into the settlement of the case.
The alleged rape was reported in the first week of September in Thiruvananthapuram district. Police then said the 44-year-old woman, working as a home nurse, had returned home and was asked to undergo quarantine by the health official.
She underwent an antigen test which was negative and was told by the man to collect the test certificate from his flat, the police said.
The woman, in her complaint, stated she went to his house on September 3 and was sexually assaulted after being tied and was allowed to leave only the next day.
The state women's commission had on its own registered a case against the health official and directed the state Health secretary to initiate disciplinary action against him.