False Rape Charges on the Rise

Rape

A resent news article titled ‘False cases behind Delhi’s tag of rape capital: Court’, stated that a 75 year old man was accused of raping his maid servant was acquitted. As per the judgment, a frail old man of 75 years was accused of rape and had to suffer 6 months of jail time before being granted bail. The main reason for slapping the false rape was to merely extract money from the man.

Based on the lady’s complaint, the old man was sent for potency test wherein it was opined that there is nothing to suggest that he cannot perform sexual intercourse.

During the course of the trial, the maid-servant admitted that she was working for the old man for about 20 days and demanded money from him which he refused. She further stated that she filed a false rape case against the old man, whereas no such act was committed against her. Based on the testimony of the victim, it clearly demonstrated that she had leveled false charges against the old man at the instance of his neighbors. The main motive behind leveling false charges was to usurp his house and ensuring that the old man remains in jail for a long time.

As per Justice Virender Bhat:

‘It is a matter of intense regret that even the frail and sick aged persons are not spared from the false allegations of rape. There can be nothing more discomforting and painful than false accusation of rape against a fragile old man who has already seen 75 summers. Right since the day, when the accused was produced before me for the first time, I wondered how such a frail old man, who can not even stand straight, would rape a young lady in her mid thirties, having lot more strength than the accused. I suspected something fishy right since day one and my suspicion came true in the deposition of the prosecutrix. A grandfatherly figure had to suffer humiliation amongst his children neighbours etc. besides suffering jail term of about six months on false charges of rape.’

He further states ‘…a commission was set up by the Govt. of India for suggesting a stern penalty for rapists and criminal laws were amended. Such an atmosphere was created that the mere statement of a lady that she has been raped, came to be taken as gospel truth, the accused arrested and charge-sheeted. This lead to an unprecedented surge in filing of false rape cases, wherein accused had to be acquitted after a protracted trial. It is these false cases which play havoc with the crime statistics leading to the labelling of Delhi as a ‘rape capital’. Nobody bothers to see in how many cases are the accused in fact convicted. Media turns a blind eye towards acquittals. The acquittal of an accused is not noticed at all and he continues to be labelled as a ‘rapist’ even after his honourable acquittal.’

Justice Virender Bhat further states, ‘In my opinion, the time has come that the acquittals in rape case should be taken seriously. The acquitted accused in such cases involving disgraceful accusations of rape, which is the most hated crime in the society, too are the victims. Their lost honour, dignity and status in the society cannot be restored but they can be compensated so that they are able to start life afresh. The courts need to be empowered to award compensation to men acquitted in false rape cases by either amending the existing section 357 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or adding a separate section in the Code. These ‘victims’ of false rape cases cannot be forgotten. A false allegation of rape creates havoc in the life of the accused. His whole future is shattered, his family faces isolation & ridicule and his life destroyed. It is very difficult to come out of the shock, trauma, ridicule and humiliation of having been arraigned in a rape case, even after the acquittal by the court.’

He stated that media plays an important role in the society as a pillar of democratic set up and would strive to bring out the plight of false rape accused after their acquittals by the courts in the same way they report filing of cases.

Presently in India, one accusation from a woman makes the man a criminal, one accusation destroys his career and one accusation drains out his savings on legal recourses for defending himself. The woman gets a public prosecutor (ie. an attorney appointed by the state to fight the case on her behalf). There is no accountability whatsoever for filing a frivolous complaint by the woman primarily because of –

  • Her identity being protected, therefore filing a frivolous complaint has no public backlash. Whereas the accused’s life is destroyed due to her frivolous complaint.
  • As a public prosecutor is provided to the woman, there is no financial drain on her resources.
  • There are hardly any consequences in Indian law for filing a false rape case. (though a perjury case may be filed)

False rape complaints is a menace to the society and stringent action should be taken against them, the NCRB data below speaks for itself.

Rapes


‘% of convicted cases’ has been calculated as a percentage of the number of incidents reported during the year. (ie. Number of cases in which convictions were made during the year / Number of reported incidents during the year)

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4 Responses to False Rape Charges on the Rise

  1. Get ‘n’ number of laws but A suo-moto punishment for false complaint is must for better justice.
    The complainant has to be informed before hand about the misuse.
    Also all laws must come with a review date and a ‘just body’ to review publicly without media bias.

    • Rightly said Jinesh. False complaints should be strictly dealt with so that it acts as a deterrent. Further, the name of the victim and the accused should not be disclosed till the trial ends.

      Laws are created to eradicate a menace of society during a particular time period. Once times change or the menace has been dealt with the law also needs to be suitably amended.

  2. Albert says:

    It shows how easy and how common it is for women to lie, and how there are so many gullible people who easily fall prey. In a rape case, a mere accusation is also considered proof. I know of no other crime where this is the case. By merely pointing an accusing finger at someone and screaming rape, a person is condemned on the spot without any due process and dragged through the mud.

  3. Pingback: Marital Rape Epidemic in India | Stand up for a Cause ...

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