Case study on False Rape Allegation in India

Abstract

Forcible sexual intercourse is included in the definition of rape. Rape is defined as “sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent, by coercion, misrepresentation, or fraud, or at a time when she is intoxicated or duped, or in any case, if she is under the age of 18.” Rape is a crime that has been increasing tremendously, and more crucially, fake rape charges in India are on the rise. Rape cases are increasing at an alarming rate, and there must be a solid ratio of decline in order for the country to be considered safe. 

Before discussing the defence against false rape cases in India, let’s first understand the  scenario in India and data that reflect the rate of false rape cases in India or claims being  made. This proves that false rape claims are a reality in India and not merely a figment of  imagination. The laws made are not gender-neutral and hence they are being used as a  double-edged weapon for those who plan to misuse them. False rape cases being instituted  related to sexual assault or harassment charges are levelled for reasons such as revenge,  aggression, blackmailing, etc.

Keywords

Rape, False Cases, Statistic data, Remedies

Introduction

Rape has long been a buzzword in our country, as our country has the highest rate of rape in the world. Rape is an illegal sexual activity that involves sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent, which may be accomplished through force or fear of force. Rape was often thought to be the result of unrestrained sexual desire, but it is today recognized as a pathological assertion of power over a victim. The Indian Government is  trying to closely inspect the situation and rectify the same, the Nirbhaya incident was a shock  to the whole country and the need was felt to make amendments in the relation to the law of  rape, pursuant to which various amendments were made. Justice Verma Committee made  various recommendations to bring in stringent laws relating to rape to protect the women and  to provide them a sense of safety which were incorporated into the Indian Penal Code 2013 however, many females have started taking wrong advantage of this protection and misuse it  to achieve their unsolicited gains.

Research methodology

This paper is based on descriptive and analytical research and is based on the primary sources such as Supreme Court Judgments, All India Reporters as well as some secondary resources as like that of journals and websites.

Review of literature

The examination of false rape allegations in India within legal studies is intricate and debatable. It’s crucial to recognize that while false claims occur, they are infrequent in comparison to real cases of sexual assault. This duality is evident in the literature, which often underscores the importance of equitable treatment for both accusers and the accused.Various research works, including those conducted by Aniruddha Babar and Mamta Singh, have extensively examined the frequency and consequences of false rape accusations in India. These studies delve into the societal, legal and psychological ramifications of such cases. They frequently underscored the complexities and difficulties in ascertaining the truth of allegations within social environment where prejudices an biases against both the accuser and the accused are common.The legal Scholars like Nandini and Pratiksha Baxi have scrutinized how law, gender, and justice intersect, revealing systemic inadequacies in the Indian legal system when it comes to handling sexual assault cases. Their research underlines the importance of sensitivity, comprehensive investigations, and fair legal proceedings to ensure justice for all involved. The literature often explores the impact on both those falsely accused and genuine victims. False accusations can sow seeds of doubt and suspicion among legitimate victims, making it harder for them to seek justice. Similarly, wrongful allegations can have severe repercussions for the accused, causing harm to their reputation, emotional distress, and social exclusion. There is also a discussion on how the media societal prejudices can shape perspectives on such cases. Several studies highlights that how these cases are portrayed in the media and perceived by the public can substantially influence their outcomes, impacting their lives of both the accuser and the accused.The evolving nature of societal attitudes, legal reforms, and the understanding of sexual assault in India constantly shapes this literature. As such, more recent studies might focus on the impact of changing laws, social movements, and that #Metoo movement on the prevalence of handling of false rape allegations in India.

Rape as per section 375 of IPC[1]

Rape- It is defined under section 375 of the IPC . In this section, the following are the six conditions precedent, fulfilment of any of them will constitute rape.

(First) — Against her will.

(Secondly) —Without her consent.

(Thirdly) — With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.

 (Fourthly) —With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be law-fully married.

(Fifthly) — With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupe-fying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

(Sixthly) — With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.

Consequences of False Accusations of Rape

●  Mental effect–

 A rape allegation is not a minor matter for a person because it is never forgotten and causes chaos in the life of the person who is falsely accused. It has a significant impact on the accused’s mentality, making it impossible for him to recover from such trauma and shock. When a person is mentally ill, it causes isolation and self-hatred. This disorder affects not only the individual charged, but also the person’s wife (if any), family members, and close relatives.

Suicides–

 Some men also conduct terrible acts such as suicide or self-harm. People who believe they can no longer survive in society decide to end their lives so that their families can live with dignity in their absence. Some people try to finish their lives on their own because they are afraid of going to prison for a long time.

Loss of Honour and dignity–

 False allegation of rape affects the reputation and society judge them as a proved criminal, which lead to the loss of honour and dignity of a person. It also causes defamation and injures the good societal status of the accused. It also results in distress and humiliation and even after the acquittal by the court people see them with bad character.  The case of rape not only harm the dignity of the accused but also of the women who alleges it. In Jagmohini v. State (NCT of Delhi) (2013) the victim made a false rape case and also alleges an attempt of carnal intercourse without caring about her own honour and dignity.

Unnecessary detention–

Whenever allegation of rape is made against a person, police at first hand arrest the accused as it is the serious offence. But in false accusation of rape, is get arrested would leads to the unlawful detention or unnecessarily a person is sent behind bars.

● Miscarriage of justice–

The principle of natural justice should be followed in every aspect of justice administration. False and c allegations and conviction would be no more than a miscarriage of justice.

● Violation of legislative intent–

The legislature makes laws for the benefit of the people and the proper administration of justice, so that victims can be compensated and wrongdoers can be punished. In the case of rape, the legislative goal is always to punish the rapist, but when the allegation of rape is made falsely against a person who is innocent and is not liable to be punished for an offence he did not commit, it is always against the legislative intent.

●  Misuse of law–

Laws are made for society so that justice can be granted to the one who is in need, but some use the law for their taking revenge or misuse them for the loss of others. These fake rape cases are no more than the misuse of law.

Statistic Data

According to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), about 74% of rape cases under section  376 of the Indian Penal Code end up acquitting the accused. Recently DGP of Rajasthan Mr  Umesh Mishra said that the registration of false rape cases has gone up to 45% last year in the  state. Thus, it is true that a variety of facts demonstrate how women are using this weapon to  entrap men today. There was a movement called “MEE TOO” that began about two years  ago, in which various females blamed various males.

Supreme Court Rulings

1. Gurmail Singh vs State of Punjab and Another in 2022[2]

2. Sejal Sharma vs State of Haryana on 2021[3]

3. Atender Yadav vs State Govt of NCT Of Delhi on 2013[4]

4. Arvind Kumar And Another vs State of U.P. And Another on 2020[5]

5. Hari Om vs State (N.C.T) on 2010[6]

List of False rape cases in India

We have made a list of recent cases turn out as false:

1. Gurugram False Rape Case

The present case in hand is quite shocking as it involves a 20-year-old English Honors student at Delhi University. Here, the accused girl was arrested on a complaint made by the mother of one of the accused men of blackmailing. In this case, the girl was running a syndicate extorting money by falsely accusing them of a rape case. The said girl filed 7 rape cases in 7 different police stations against 7 different men. Some of the cases have been closed, and in some cases, the concerned court has issued notices to her to present before the court.[7]

2. Manager kills self After woman accusation sexual harassment

Amit Kumar died by suicide on Aug 30, He left a 5-page suicide note alleging extreme  humiliation by his company Optum Global Solution over charges of sexual harassment which  he said were false.

3. A girl from Jabalpur filed 6 false rape cases against 6 men

A girl from Jabalpur has filed six rape cases against five different men in the city of Jabalpur  in a span of six years. She filed a rape case against the first man she implicated, married him,  and then refiled dowry, domestic violence, and rape cases against him. After this, from 2021  to July 2022, she filed four more rape cases against four other different men.

4. Woman fined Rs 10k for a false rape case.

On April 26, 2022, A woman from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, who had accused her husband  of raping her before marriage, was fined Rs 10,000 by the Allahabad High Court for  registering a false FIR against her husband.

5. Indore teen tries to fool police in a fake rape case

In January 2021, Indore police registered a rape case after a 19-year-old girl alleged that she  was abducted and gang-raped by five men and thrown on train tracks. A tenant of the house  where she lived was arrested by the police after she claimed in her statement that she was one  of the criminals. The girl kept changing her statement throughout the investigation and after  much investigation, she and her inner partner revealed that they had fabricated the story. She  was involved in a similar case earlier as well and got compensation of Rs 2 lakh from the  government, so it is very possible that she has hatched a fake scheme to earn some more  money.

6. Man spent 20 years in jail in a false rape case

Vishnu Tiwari of Lalitpur spent two decades in jail for a crime he never committed. In  September 2000, police arrested Vishnu in a rape case in which the woman, her husband, and  her father-in-law testified that Vishnu had taken advantage of the woman in the field. He was  charged with sexual and physical assault on a woman when she was five months pregnant.  After 20 years, the Allahabad High Court, accepting the truth, released Vishnu Tiwari from  jail.

Remedy to False Rape Allegation

Rape is defined under section 375 of Indian panel code one of the most essential ingredients  of for a sexual act to come under the offence of rape is against the consent of women. Under  section 482 of CrPC when can approach the High Court for quashing of the FIR. If the High 

Court after going through all the facts include that there is an misuse of power than the high  court can quash the FIR.

• In the case of Shivashankar @ Shiva vs State of Karnataka[8] on 6 April, 2018, The  Hon’ble SC said it is difficult to sustain the charges leveled against the appellant who  may have possibly, made a false promise of marriage to the complainant. It is,  however, difficult to hold sexual intercourse in the course of a relationship which has  continued for eight years, as ‘rape’ especially in the face of the complainant’s own  allegation that they lived together as man and wife. Thus, it can be breach of Promise  but cannot be rape. 

• In the Case of Dhruvaram Murlidhar Sonar vs The State of Maharashtra[9] on 22  November, 2018, The doctor was married and had an extra marital affair with a nurse who was a widow. In this case Hon’ble Supreme Court held that after admitting all the  facts given in the FIR, all the police statement or the complaint, It can be said that both  of them lived as the husband and wife. Both of them worked in the same hospital and  the doctor from the very inception told her that he was married when he had no  malafide intention. In this case that decision of the nurse was conscious, active and  made after the application of the mind. She knew the consequences of her actions.  Also, the consent is not obtained by misconception of fact. After admitting all the  facts, it is a clever case of consensual sex as the Hon’ble Supreme Court quashed the  FIR.

Therefore, in this circumstance, if someone makes a false rape complaint against someone, he  may file a petition mentioning above Supreme Court rulings with the High Court under  Section 482 of the CrPC to have the FIR dismissed. He must provide all relevant facts and  demonstrate that he had no malicious intent.

Conclusion

There does not appear to be clear definitions of false conclusion categories of investigation of  rape cases. This results in errors in counting of offenses in various categories of sexual  assault cases. The bias in conducting police investigations results in erroneous conclusions  and this means that much reliance cannot be placed on the false allegations numbers  projected by police agencies. This grey area around investigations of rape cases affects the quality of investigation and prosecution. Police officers frequently harbour rape myths, and

This affects their treatment of victims. Overidentification of false rape cases in India was  found to be similar to that in the United States, and United Kingdom.

Although the victim of a false rape charge receives justice in the end, have we considered  what he endures? As we have seen in most cases, victims had to wait more than 2-3 years  before receiving justice. How much they suffered, both socially and economically. “Justice  delayed is justice denied,” as the saying goes.

BY

Azhar Ahmad Khan

Faculty of Law,

Integral University

Lucknow


[1] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, s.375

[2] Gurmail Singh vs State of Punjab and Another (2022) CRM-M-45411-2021

[3] Sejal Sharma vs State of Haryana on 2021 CRM-M-5147-2021

[4] Atender Yadav vs State Govt Of Nct Of Delhi, 2013, CRL.A. 1340/2010

[5] Arvind Kumar And Another vs State Of U.P. And Another, 2020, Case: APPLICATION U/S 482 No. – 37777 of 2019

[6] Hari Om vs State (N.C.T) on 2010 Crl.A.No.605/2007

[7] Bismin Taskeen, ‘Gurugram woman, who filed 7 rape cases against 7 men, now held for ‘extortion’’ (ThePrint) 30 December, 2021 https://theprint.in/india/gurugram-woman-who-filed-7-rape-cases-against-7-men-now-held-for-extortion/791646/ / accessed 25th December

[8] Shivashankar @ Shiva vs State of Karnataka CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.504   OF 2018 (Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.454 of 2017)

[9] Dhruvaram Murlidhar Sonar vs The State of Maharashtra CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1443 OF 2018 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No.6532 of 2018)

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