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Sets back the cause of women empowerment: Delhi High Court on false invocation of sexual harassment laws

The Court was dealing with a petition filed by a Delhi University professor seeking the quashing of a first information report (FIR) registered by his neighbour under Sections 354A (punishment for sexual harassment) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

It was argued that while the petitioner and his family were out of the city, their neighbour demolished a cemented water tank that had been constructed for his flat at the rooftop. The neighbours even constructed a room and a toilet, and broke the pipe that was used to supply water to the petitioner’s flat.

Though the petitioner made several representations to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Police to act on the illegal construction, no action was taken against them, allegedly because the daughter-in-law of their neighbour was a Constable with the Delhi Police.

The Court was told that in February 2021, in response to a written complaint by the petitioner and his wife, the police called them to the station and asked them to settle the matter. On a refusal to do the same, the neighbours then registered the FIR against the petitioner and his wife. It was alleged that the police asked them to pay ₹5 lakh as bribe to settle the matter.

Source: Barandbench

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