Incident Reports

Rape Cases settled with promise of Money outside the Court


Karnali, Mugu, Chhayanath Rara

Many of the rape cases are being settled out of court after being registered at District Police Office after the victims accept the perpetrators’ financial offer. It is found that the cases that are under consideration at the court are actually settled outside allowing the perpetrators to go free. Four cases were registered at District Police Office (DPO) in the fiscal year 2013/14 and three in 2014/15. Of which, only three cases were investigated while the other four were settled out of court. Inspector Mitra Bahadur Acharya of the DPO said that after the FIR on rape is registered, the reported victims are taken to health facilities for medical checkups. He added that the cases are sent to the District Court after necessary investigation but the perpetrators evade justice before the report of medical checkup arrives from the central lab by paying a good sum of money to the victims. Acharya further said that the accused then record their statement in the court accusing police of fabricating the case. A women human rights defender district chairperson Radhika Malla said that the victims are forced to accept the money under the pressure from the local political party leaders and their community. There are so many such incidents where the perpetrators escape from justice within one/two weeks after being remanded. A local Matrika Shahi said that the number of cases being reported to the police is only a fraction of the actual incident number. Many of the cases are settled at the village level by paying huge amounts, he added. He recalled an incident that occurred in March where the victim in Ruga VDC was promised to be paid Rs 80,000 while the victim side was coming to the DPO to report the case. Victims in such cases are paid up to Rs 300,000, it is learnt. District Court Mugu’s acting registrar Gokarna Sharma said, “The medical checkup of the victim should be conducted within 24 hours of the incident. Though the court has adopted the policy to put such cases on the fast track, some perpetrators manage to dodge legal procedure because of the delay from the police”. He added that at times, the victim sides’ weakness results in the plea being unsuccessful.