Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the State government to respond to a petition alleging registration of false rape cases and seeking framing of guidelines to ensure that innocent persons were not booked. Claiming that one of the reasons for the over 75 per cent acquittal in rape cases is registration of ‘false cases’, the PIL sought guidelines while registering rape charges against men after a substantial delay or due to false promise of marriage.

A bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil also asked the department of social welfare to file an affidavit by July 30 giving figures on the number of acquittals, conviction and criteria laid down for registration of offences in rape cases.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Pune-based organisation– Association for Aiding Justice.

The judges, however, said a person cannot be stopped from filing a complaint. When a complaint is filed, police have to lodge an FIR. However, there can be guidelines while filing such cases, the bench said and asked the petitioner to suggest them.

The petition said there was a need to frame statutory guidelines for police and other authorities to conduct a preliminary inquiry while entertaining a complaint lodged for rape on the allegation of false promise of marriage.

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