Author: Lisha Chauhan, IV year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Fairfield institute of management and technology affiliated with GGSIPU
Co-author: Vibhuti Sharma, IV year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Fairfield institute of management and technology affiliated with GGSIPU
Co-author: Yogita Sharma, IV year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Fairfield institute of management and technology affiliated with GGSIPU
One of the most controversial debates influencing the debate connected with violence against women is the question about the recurrence of bogus charges of rape. The outcomes show that the arrangement of the cases as bogus/no wrongdoing/unjustifiable by the police is itself incorrect and it destroys the honest figures of false charges. The time spent by the police examining misleading cases hindered them from investing energy in the investigation of genuine offenses. Valuable judicial time is additionally spent in hearing situations where false charges are made and are thusly maltreatment of the course of regulation," The effect of false accusations on psychological well-being, profession and the entire existence of men is beyond salvaging. These men accused of fraudulent incriminations of assault are excluded which drives them to live in dread or resort to suicide. According to a survey, 53.2% rape cases filed between April 2013 to July 2014 are false only 1,287 cases were found to be true, and the remaining 1,464 cases were found to be false. How common are the false rape charges? There's an expression that rape "is an allegation easily to be made and hard to be proved. " There are numerous case laws and consequences of the false rape charges on a person's life which will discuss also what are the causes of such allegations.
'Rape’ is a serious intolerable heinous crime. In a country like India, where it happens all too often and with every third woman in this society, it additionally has serious consequences. Like being sentenced to life imprisonment or awful - confronting capital punishment. The punishment for such charges seems more or less befitting for someone who has violated another human body, they are absolutely frightening or totally terrifying for someone who did not commit the crime.
You see, throughout the long term, innocent women have gathered the strength to stand against sexual abuse and raise their voices against predators which took a lot of courage. Then, there have also been women who alleged false charges on men for their own sake, as revenge, or for extortion of money from innocents. In a society such as ours, charges as serious as rape cause the accused to be treated as guilty before their trial even ends. Like several vindictive women who weren’t victims of sexual abuse, but pretended to be so and framed innocent men for personal gain, revenge, or mental illness.
We all know that the rape has the ability to scar the mental psyche of the victim, and this trauma stays for years but what if the side changes when a woman put false rape charges against a man he loses his whole personality, cannot face his family, lose his honor, job, all the hard-earned reputation in the society and is stigmatized for life.
The court also said that the false allegations of rape of innocents have the potential to destroy the life and career of the accused. Some of the rape charges are alleged by parents of the unmarried daughter of innocent people just to hide their sexual relationship from the society, as we all know that there are few people who are still living in the 19th century.
It is a trend among women to file false rape cases which are exposed by the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW). The report additionally revealed that between June 2013 and December 2013, the number of cases viewed as false was 525. What's more, in the middle, of January 2014 and July 2014, the number of misleading assault cases was 900. Last year, a Delhi court said that it was "turning into an exceptionally difficult position, by and by a-days, for the courts to separate the genuine assault cases from the false ones" while getting the four of a family charged for the present circumstance. It is very shameful and a matter of intense regret even the sick aged persons are not spared from the fake alleged charges of rape for the extortion of money.
Around 40% of the assault cases disposed of by the police in Haryana somewhere in the range of 2018 and 2020 have been proclaimed "bogus", as indicated by the State Crime Record Bureau data. Among gang-rape incidents, 55 cases (39.6 percent) of the absolute 139 were pronounced bogus in 2018. The comparing figures remained at 80 (51 percent) of 157 in 2019 and 72 (45.3 percent) of 159 in 2020. Allegations regarding offenses such as one under section 376 IPC cannot be made at the drop of a hat- in order to settle personal scores.
MAIN CAUSES FOR FALSE RAPE CHARGES
Women intentionally lie about being a victim of rape or sexual assault. Additionally, besides the fact that they falsely claim to have been victimized. However, they may also go so far as to file a police report for their own benefit. This false report can then progress further to the criminal prosecution of an honest individual in a sexual assault or rape case. There exist some reasons why an individual might falsely report a rape or sexual assault.
Some of the more common ulterior motivations of these false cases are
➢ Revenge is another typical motive for false rape allegations. what may surprise a lot of individuals, however, is the fact that this revenge almost never is in response to being dumped by the accused. the potential reason for these revenge accusations is endless. There are concerns over some women in the society who abuse the legal system set up to protect women, for nefarious purposes. The country has seen a rising menace of false rape cases filed by several women with the motive of revenge from the individual.
➢ Extortion of money from an innocent person is also a motive for such false allegations some women in our country abuse our legal system by putting false allegations in the demand for money and promising to withdraw the charges if he gives them what they want. Recently in Gurugram on December 29, police busted a ‘honey trapping’ racket and arrested 22-year-old Ayushi Bhatia who confessed to her crime of accusing men of bogus sexual assault charges and extorting money.
➢ Personal Gain is the most common reason nowadays for false allegations against men. Working women in the need of promotions or raises in salary put false charges against the men. There’s additionally aremarkable case of a woman who accused her gastroenterologist of performing oral sex on her after a colonoscopy since she resented his refusal to act as an expert witness for her in a lawsuit. She then, at that point, sued the gastroenterologist as well.
➢ Break-up is also a reason why some youth alleged false allegations against men. When a relationship ends, women who have had consensual sex make false accusations of rape under the promise of marriage out of vengefulness, to hurt the man and his reputation. Some women ruefully took a break-up on their ego and decide to ruin the life of an individual by making false allegations.
“What if it’s just an angry ex with an agenda to get back at you?” Domestic violence and child custody are also some of the cases in the court where women put false allegations in the need of full custody of their child. The growing tendency of filing rape cases against male relatives in matrimonial disputes becomes an easy way for such women in our society to get what they want.
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT?
"A man is considered guilty until proven innocent and a woman is considered innocent until proven guilty."
We consider this statement as bona fide before the investigation by the police or judgment by the court. The question raised is WHY? Nowadays we are enlightened with a word that is ‘gender equality.’ If we talk about gender equality then criminals irrespective of any gender should get punishment. There is a Latin expression Eiincumbit probation qui dicit, non qui negatwhich states proof lies on him who asserts not on him who denies. This principle has been adopted as a human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11. It has been perceived as a legal right in countries such as France, Canada, Iran, Italy, Russia, and many more. There is also a guideline known as the presumption of innocence which means an individual is accepted as an innocent until proven guilty. In particular, the presumption of innocence secures the right of a person by not letting him be wrongfully sentenced. The accused is able to prove his innocence in a court of law.
Whereas in India, a man is abused, harassed, blamed and many times tortured by law, police, media, and society as ‘guilty’ until he proves his innocence. Immediately after the complaint of rape is filed at the police station, the accused is arrested under section 375 of The Indian Penal Code. While the man immediately faces the consequence even if it is a false accusation why no action is taken against the woman who makes those false accusations.
It is also said that the time consumed by police investigating false cases hinders them from spending time investigating serious offenses which as a result leads to faulty investigations. Important judicial time is also spent in hearing situations where bogus charges are made and is consequently an abuse of the process of law. In this way, individuals who make such bogus claims of assault can't be allowed to go scot-free.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, an aggregate of 38947 assault cases were reported in India in 2016. In 10068-about a fourth of the women claim it was an assault on the bogus promise of marriage. In Andhra Pradesh state, 45% of all rape cases filed in the past two years fell into the false marriage category.
In many cases, women come to an agreement to withdraw the case in exchange for money. I ask myself if they really have been raped, instead of justice why do they yearn for money?
MEDIA AND SOCIETY (MIS)REPRESENTATION
Media and Society both have a narrow coverage related to “Sexual Violence” against men as they focus more on Female victims. The media portrays gender-based sexual violence, showing inadequate depictions and gender stereotypes. Most people think that sexual violence could only be done to females, however, this is an incomplete image showing only one side, as crimes against men are committed in the society itself.
According to the Media and society, only a man can be an abuser, he cannot be a victim in a rape case. These gender stereotypes provoke empathy and create a feeling amongst men which prevents them from attaining their justice. We hear many cases of rape and domestic and sexual violence in media but none of them is related to a man, mostly all of them are related to a woman. Likewise, there are numerous laws made in India to protect women from sexual violence but where is the right of men?
We talk about gender equality, but if a man is a rape victim, we would think it is a bluff or we would not believe that men are also subjected to sexual violence. In an interview with India Times, an international human rights lawyer and activist Vrinda Grover said that “There are no instances of women raping men. I don’t think men are facing sexual violence issues as women” this statement is not at all about the gender equality, it is true crime related to women are way much more than as men but crimes related to men cannot be neglected.
Society should start focusing on gender equality, a society needs to let go of the fact that rape and sexual violence could only be done by a man as because of this particular thinking most of the male victims remain unreported.
The media is considered a pillar of society, by giving society accurate news. Thus, media portrayal related to sexual violence can really contribute to society's norms and attitudes.
CONSEQUENCES OF FALSE RAPE ACCUSATIONS
Although accusations of rape or other sexual violence should never take moderately. But the problem is that too many people use these false rape accusations for their own benefit. This false accusation can cause serious consequences. If a person is falsely accused, the results can have tragic impacts on both the person accused as well as the complainant.
● REPUTATION OF A PERSON
A man who is falsely accused in a rape case may never recover from his damaged reputation. If a rape case proved the accused innocent but still, he may never recover from the fact that the accuser does to the reputation of the accused. This means an accused may have to face this consequence their entire life even if it is a lie.
As well as the self-esteem of a person who is being falsely accused in a rape case had been negatively impacted. No matter what every person has their self-esteem and in cases where a man has to deal with being falsely accused, he may never recover from this. It is a serious concern because the falsely accused person may have to face this lifetime.
● MONETARY LOSSES
A person who is falsely accused in a rape case, may have monetary losses, for instances if an accused is working and due to this false allegation, he may have to leave his job or he may get suspended from his job, and they are losing their work over this false allegation which maybe not true. Likewise, their colleagues will judge the accused, they often have the assumption that he is an accused.
● WASTAGE OF TIME
If a person is falsely charged as an accused, then he may have to spend most of the time in a courtroom over something which is not entirely true. For instance, in a false rape case and, in a courtroom, it is decided that a crime is committed by the accused, then the accused who is being falsely charged in a rape case end up going to prison on the statement of an accuser which isn’t true, this is an entire wastage of jury time as well as the accused time.
● POLICE TIME
Police do this entire investigation in a rape case but what if a person is falsely accused in a rape case, then this all-determined investigation is nothing but a waste of police timing. Many victims file false accusations on an accused to cause damage to the accused but these types of cases have a serious impact on both the accused and the victim of the case.
● INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
The consequence of all this will cause a shattered relationship of an accused with his family and friends to being arrested for the false accusations. The false accusations of an accused will impact his and his family's lives on a deep level. A man who is falsely accused will go through this rest of his life.
Note: In India, if any woman is alleged the individual against false rape charges and extort money can be booked for Section 384 of the IPC and Section 389 (attempts to put any person in fear of an accusation). Not only this but conspiring any criminal conspiracy against a person comes under IPC Section 120B or Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and taken into judicial custody.
Vishnu Tiwari vs state of UP: In this case, the accused Vishnu Tiwari was taken into custody for the first time in September 2000, when an FIR was lodged by a woman, her husband, and her father-in-law. The complainants were from the same village. He was falsely charged with sexually assaulting, raping, and beating her when she was five months pregnant. According to Vishnu Tiwari, the complainant has accused him in order to take revenge There was a land and animal dispute between the above mentioned. He never met the woman and just knew her as a daughter-in-law. They just wanted the money through the Harijan act. He attained bail but was arrested again in 2001. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003 after being found guilty under sections 3(1)(7) and 3(2)(5) of the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
He challenged this judgment by a trial court in 2005 but his petition was accounted defective as the required documents were not in place. It remained this way for 16 years. After 16 years, he was proven innocent. Just for the sake of revenge and greediness, an innocent had to suffer in jail for 20 years for a crime he never committed. His ancestral lands also had to be discharged to pay lawyers. While he was in prison, his parents and his two brothers died and he couldn’t even attend their last rites. Many times, he felt that he should just die. After returning from jail in January 2021, he found his house empty and his family was gone. He left jail with only Rs. 600 which was handed over to him by the jail administration. That is all he has to rebuild his life.
Indore case 2021: In January 2021, a 19-year-old girl told the police that she was kidnapped, raped, and stabbed by 5 men. She told that they put her in a jute bag and outlined to throw her on the railway tracks. However, when the investigation started, it was found the teenager’s claims were incompatible and baseless. No evidence was found to support her claim and her claims were false and fabricated. The complainant even went to the lengths of stabbing herself to prove her story.Later, the Indore police decided to book the girl under 182/211, IPC for filing a false case.
Satara case 2019: A woman in the Satara district of Maharashtra accused two men of raping her in a car. According to her, they promised her a job in exchange. However, the charge was false and fabricated. While investigating, it was found out that one of the men was out of the country while the other was not in Satara but in Pune on the day she claimed to have been raped. Apparently, the woman filed the bogus case only to tarnish the reputation of the men.
Ghaziabad case 2017: A minor daughter was provoked by her maternal uncle to accuse her own father of raping her. The father who was accused of the crime spent three long years in jail for a crime he never committed. During the first trial, the story started to fall apart and the daughter accepted that she fabricated the false case. She admitted that she did this under the influence of her maternal uncle. The uncle on the other hand was only imprisoned for one month and charged a fine of Rs. 50,000.
Chennai false rape case 2010: An engineering student, Santosh residing in Chennai, was accused of raping a girl and impregnating her after the two families were supposed to get their kids married to each other, had a fall out due to a dispute regarding the property. The girl’s mother claimed that the boy had impregnated her daughter and refused to marry her. But he denied any such relationship with her. After being denied, she and her parents lodged a complaint of rape and the boy was arrested.
In February 2010, he came out on bail, and by that time the girl had delivered the baby. They took a DNA test on the baby and it proved that Santosh was not the father. Santosh filed a suit for damages as this case ruined his career and life as he was an engineering student and the case cost him Rs. 2 lakhs. A Chennai court offered him Rs. 15 lakhs as compensation. Despite being innocent, he spent 7 years in jail.
Women have fought a long battle for their rights in the country.This long battle was fought so that women can get justice and respect in society. Earlier, women and their families were too afraid and embarrassed to step forward and file a complaint against rape. They thought“what will society think about them?”, “How will society treat them?”, “They will be portrayed as characterless”, and “No man will marry them.”But the situation has drastically changed after the 2013 amendment.After the Nirbhaya Rape case, in 2012, the Criminal Law Amendment bill overturned our rape and sexual assault laws in 2013.
A social movement (#metoo) has also helped women to come forward and raise their voices against the sexual assault or harassment they have been through. Reportedly, some women have also taken advantage of #metoo and made false accusations against men.As we all are aware of the phrase “keep yourself in my shoes” sowhat about those women who actually are the victim of sexual assault and sexual harassment? The sentiments of those women are ignored by those who make false accusations and are only greedy for their own good. There are several cases in which the victim has actually suffered rape, their cases are still pending in the court for many years. They are yet to get justice.While we know what punishment awaits him if he is found guilty of this crime, we don’t know what will happen if he is found innocent. Who will give him the dignity and reputation he lost? No one!
Now is the time to overturn the criminal justice system as well. Not only for women but also for men.
Being wrongfully accused of criminal offenses can lead to seriously negative and unfavorableconsequences for those wrongfully accused and their families. Our Indian society and our media concentrate extensively on women's incidents of abuse about their safety only. So, when a man is harassed with wrong charges on him, what about that? The ongoing legal framework is inefficient in preventing bogus rape charges and in protecting the accused from being wrongfully detained as well as criticized. Even if one innocent is acquitted, one cannot regain that status. The wrongfully accused may lose their reputation, sense of self-worth, respect, their place in the community, their career, their friends, partners, and sometimes their freedom. You can't prove your innocence to every single individual. People are quick to judge a rape case without even knowing whether the person is guilty or not that is because we really want severe regulations for the misleading assault cases in India which can save innocent.