A fast track court in Anantnag has sentenced a 19-year-old woman to three months in prison for falsely accusing a man of abduction, rape and criminal intimidation.

The man accused of rape had refused to marry the girl, following which she lodged an FIR against him accusing the man of abducting and raping her.

The judgment by Additional Sessions Judge Anantnag, Masarat Shaheen has come at a time when social media is abuzz with accusations of sexual harassment under the “metoo” campaign.

The FIR, number 24-2018 under sections 366 (abduction), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) was lodged in police station Achabal, in March this year against Tajammul Nisar Dugga, a resident of Shangus, on a complaint lodged by one Mahjabeen Akhtar, also a resident of Shangus in Anantnag.

A few days after the FIR, Mahjabeen testified under 164-A, before the Judicial Magistrate Anantnag and reiterated her accusations.

However, when the challan was produced and the case went for trial in a fast track court chaired by Shaheen, Mahjabeen back tracked her statements.

“She told the honorable court that she had lied earlier and she did so because the man, Tajammul, was refusing to marry her,” Additional Public Prosecutor at the district court Anantnag, Syed Suhail Haqqani, told a local newspaper.

Tajammul, was acquitted after Mahjabeen’s back tracking. Haqqani, however, moved an application against Mahjabeen and sought punishment for her for misleading the court.

“Misleading the court is an offence, particularly when you back track your statement given under 164-A. I am glad that she has been punished. This should set an example for others,” Haqqani said.

Shaheen on the other hand has called the punishment a lenient one, in the judgment dated October 10.

“Taking a lenient view the accused is sentenced to three months of simple imprisonment. She shall be lodged in central jail Srinagar,” the judgment reads.

The local newspaper talked to Shaheen, who considered the judgment significant in many ways.

“One, there had been an amendment to criminal procedure where lying to court under 164-A has been made a criminal offence,” Shaheen told newspaper.

Another reason Shaheen said is that this will serve as a deterrent for women to level false allegations.

“I regularly come across such false complaints, where women accuse men of rape for different reasons. The truth always prevails but this should be seen as a warning, a deterrent for all such women,” Shaheen said.