The Supreme Court dismissed an alleged case of rape and abduction against Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi filed by former Samajwadi Party MLA Kishore Samrite.

The apex court ruled that the petition filed against Rahul was without substance, which damaged his and his family’s reputation and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Samrite. The SC had said that there was not an iota of evidence against Rahul and directed Samrite to pay Rs 5 lakh to the Congress leader for filing a baseless petition and Rs 5 lakh to the girl and her parents as compensation. There was an allegation stating that Rahul with other friends had detained the girl in Uttar Pradesh.

While allegations are still flying thick and fast about political motives and attempts to tarnish images, and a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against Samrite is going on, one thinks that there are no winners in this case.

There are only losers and those losers are women everywhere. When the rape allegation is used for reasons other than that heinous, women lose again and again. Rape is a notoriously difficult crime to prove, add to that the stigma attached to it and one can see how the victim suffers while trying to bring a rapist to book or get justice. And it would be naïve not to admit that when the perpetrator is powerful with connections it is doubly hard for the victim.

So, it is of vital importance that anybody alleging rape, should be 100 per cent credible and the crime should have happened beyond an iota of doubt. Whether it can be established in court or not is different. The accuser must have only one motive: to get justice and see that the rapist is punished. Rape allegations that are untrue make the going difficult for real victims as then every rape allegation is under a cloud of doubt. It doubles the weight of an already heavy burden, for a devastated victim.