This Article is written by Anchal Kushwah, a student at ISBR Law College.
The awakening of feminism across the country has enabled many women to stand for their rights, dignity, and gain equal respect in society. It has made women aware of their rights and status which they deserve by every means. Then there was the arrival of some very gruesome and heinous rape cases which shook the entire nation. ‘Nirbhaya Case – 2012’ is one of those cases, this case provided strength to many women who have been victimized by rape culture but remained quiet. However, this is not the only truth we will discuss this time. This article is an attempt to centralize the emerging number of registered false rape cases against men. On one hand, we talk about strengthening women whereas, on the other hand, there are so many cases registered in the police stations in which women have falsely accused an innocent man of rape due to her personal vengeance and it has also been reported that in major of the false accusation of rape cases, women drop the case by themselves.
In India, talking about sex education or rape is still considered taboo. This brings us down for one of the main causes of falling into the trap. There has been ‘n’ number of rape cases filed every day but most of them are left unheard. According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) annual report of 2018; 33,356 cases were reported of rape out of which 31,320 were known to the person. Along with the actual case, some false rape cases were also filed.
CAUSES OF FALSE RAPE CASES IN INDIA
By definition, a false rape case against a person is an undue claim filed by a woman against the person by tampering with the actual evidence or by fabricating false evidence. The reasons for such allegation can be for extortion of money, any kind of vengeance, or for veiling the shame of having sexual relationships before marriage.
- NON-DELIBERATE DECEPTION– Non-deliberate deception arises when the victim is unable to differentiate the actual rapist and as a result of which an innocent person is charged with the false accusation of rape.
- LIES-Lies include many things that can be the common cause of filing a false rape case against an innocent person. It includes revenge, producing an alibi, acquisition of materialistic things, and also a step to maintain a position in the workplace.
- SYMPATHY SEEKING– For some people, this might seem to be a baseless motive for filing a false allegation of rape on somebody. It has been reported in various cases that a woman has filed a false allegation of rape for public sympathy or attention. The motive of sympathy seeking comes into the picture when the appellant finds himself/herself in a position where they or their work is not being recognized by anybody.
LAWS RELATED TO FALSE ALLEGATION OF RAPE CASES
With the increasing rape cases, our laws are also becoming stringent day by day, to stop these heinous crimes across the nation. For this, we have a number of laws concerning the allegations of false rape cases too. From the fabrication of false evidence to ruin someone’s reputation i.e. defamation, nobody can skip from his/her liability of filing a false allegation in fact, he/she will be charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- Section 191- Giving false evidence
Any person who is legally obliged or took an oath to say the truth or to declare the facts regarding any subject chose to make a false statement before the authority is said to be giving false evidence and he/she will be punished by the court.
- Section 192- Fabricating false evidence
Whoever causes any circumstance to exist or intending such circumstance, false entry or false statement may appear in evidence in a judicial proceeding, or in a proceeding taken by law before a public servant as such, or before an arbitrator and such circumstances, false entry or false statement, so appearing in evidence, may cause any person who in such proceeding is to form an opinion about the evidence, to entertain an erroneous opinion touching any point material to the result of such proceeding is said: “to fabricate false evidence”.
- Section 193 – Punishment for false evidence
Whoever intentionally gives false evidence or fabricates the evidence for the purpose of being used in any stage of a judicial proceeding shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine, and whoever fabricates or gives the evidence in any other cases shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend up to three years and shall also be liable to a fine.
- Section 211- False charge is made with the intent to injure
Whoever, with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes or causes to be instituted any criminal proceeding against that person knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceedings, shall be punished with either imprisonment for a term which may extend up to two years or with fine or both.
- Section 499 – Defamation
Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, the reputation of such person, expected, to defame that person.
- Section 500 – Punishment of Defamation
Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
EFFECT OF FILING FALSE RAPE CASES
No matter how many posts we share on our social media accounts after every rape, still, the mental agony, the physical pain, the humiliation, that person goes through is absolutely beyond description. Whereas, on the other hand whenever a rape case is filed against anyone, regardless of the truth of the matter, even before the person is held guilty, our society being judgmental, starts framing their own views against the person who is charged for the offense of rape. As a result of which there is a probability of defaming an innocent person who is not yet proven guilty which goes against our Indian our law that says, ‘innocent until proven guilty’. In fact, the presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial and it is an international human rights under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights under Article 11.
It has become easy for us to accuse someone of his actions, regardless of the truth of the matter. Our law system is really working hard and many new stringent laws are being framed in order to safeguard women from being raped. There are many women who take advantage of the existing laws and try to frame an innocent person in false rape cases. On one hand, where we aim for a crime-free world, such allegations make it difficult to put our finger on the true cause. Moreover, registration of such cases can be decreased by awakening the society and making them aware of the adverse effect of it. The filing of fake claims is only burdening the court and police which ultimately leads to procrastination of decisions of other cases. In order to sort it out, we need to stand with all the innocent men as we stood with women without being judgmental. If society thinks that when a woman is raped, it can bring humiliation and shame to the family then the false accusation of such false charges shall bring equal shame and humiliation to his family. Society needs to be fair and stand with the person who is truly victimized hence maintaining equality in society.
- Pooja Chaudhary, Indian polity notes, current affairs notes, defamation in India- IPC Section 499/500 vs Freedom of Speech, CLEAR IAS, https://www.clearias.com/defamation-freedom-speech/.
- False rape case: Women to face action for ‘misuse of law’, THE TIMES OF INDIA (Nov. 22, 2019, 09:44 PM), https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/false-rape-case-woman-to-face-action-for-misuse-of-law/articleshow/72175470.cms.
- Andre W E A De Zutter, Motives for Filing a False Allegation of Rape, NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MACHINE (Feb. 17, 2017), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28213722/.
- Dhruv Gupta, Default/Statutory/Compulsory Bail: A Primer, MANUPATRA, https://www.manupatrafast.com/articles/articleSearch.aspx.