Rape has been a buzzing word in our country for a long time as our country, reports the highest cases of rape around the world. Rape is unlawful sexual activity, more precisely it involves sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim, it may be through force or threat of force. Rape was long considered to be caused by unbridled sexual desire, but it is now understood 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.
Why do people falsely accuse someone of rape?
Over the past few years, there is a rise in the number of rape cases being filed, however, when the investigation was made it was found that most of the cases were false accusations of rape, the rise in such cases was noticed after the #metoomovement. Such a movement was introduced in order to provide justice to the woman, however, the same was wrongly used by various women.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the knowledge of the society that the cases being filed are false cases, society begins to associate that statistic with the feminist movement and which eventually delegitimizes the efforts of feminism altogether, and as a result, such feminist movement sacrifices the real cases of rape.
So, what leads to a false rape reporting by a woman? Heartbreak, anger or some other mala fide motive induces a woman to file a false rape case majorly. Some women just do it in order to seek the attention of media and have publicity, therefore it is advised that the judiciary shall deal with rape cases with more caution in order to avoid an innocent being punished as such lies from women have a serious impact on the life of a man
In Sejal Sharma vs State Of Haryana on 23 September 2021, the petitioners threatened to file a false rape case against the accused if he fails to pay Rs.20 lacs to them, the petitioners have allegedly recorded a video of the accused with a girl and were blackmailing him. When the case was brought before the court and necessary investigations were made, the court held that the petitioners have been running a racket and were habitual to threaten & blackmail people by implicating them in false rape cases.
There are many other similar cases where a person was threatened of a false rape case in return for money, from the above-given paras it can be inferred that there may be numerous reasons for filing a rape case, and today such cases are being used as a weapon. Such cases not only have a negative monetary effect on the person but the major impact is on the reputation and mind of the victim.
The court has also held that it is “becoming a very difficult job, nowadays, for the courts to differentiate the genuine rape cases from the false ones”.
Statistics of Fake rape allegations in India
The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) has come out with remarkably shocking statistics revealing that 53.2% of the rape cases registered with the police between April 2013 and July 2014 in Delhi were falsified. Furthermore, the report says that between April 2013 and July 2014, out of the 2,753 complaints of rape, only 1,287 cases were found to be true, and the rest of the 1,464 cases were filed on false grounds.
The report further revealed that between June 2013 and December 2013, the number of cases found to be untrue was 525. The Delhi Commission of Women had stated that it was investigating individual complaints of rape, to ensure that the victims get justice. However, it added that in many cases, the complainant was revealed to be prejudiced and that revenge emerged to be the most common reason for filing a false rape accusation.
Punishment for false rape allegations
While there is no specific offense for which a false accuser can be tried, there are a number of categories under which their actions may fall. Therefore, in order to safeguard the person from the victimization of false rape cases, the Indian Penal Code has stated various penalties in respect of offenses wherein false accusations have taken place: -
- Section 182: False information, with intent to cause a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person
- Section 195: Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of offense punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment
- Section 196: Using evidence known to be false
- Section 199: False statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence
- Section 200: Using as true such declaration knowing it to be false
- Section 211: False charge of offense made with intent to injure
How to deal with a false rape case
Though there is no prescribed protocol or procedure that a person should follow to avoid a false rape allegation, however, in general terms there are certain measures one can take in order to safeguard oneself from such false accusation:
- If a person has been falsely accused and wants to take legal action, the first step is to understand the Procedure to File FIR. Filing an FIR in this case will help the police authorities to carry on the appropriate investigation on the matter and provide justice to the person.
- A person must consult a criminal defence lawyer and disclose to him all the material facts for help and guidance and to take correct measures.
- A person can file a suit in the court against the false defamation provided in such person can prove in the court that the allegations made were baseless and that the person making allegations was aware that allegation was false which has cause damage to his reputation.
Filing a Complaint
Unfortunately, there is no specific law in favour of men in case of false rape allegation. Most of the laws are framed where men have to prove themselves innocent.
No one can stop a person to lodge a complaint under the provisions of the law against anybody. It's the constitutional right that has been conferred to every citizen of our country. However, the real test of its authenticity can be ascertained by the Court of law, based on the report of the investigating officer and evidence. These laws are not bias and in no way discriminate between any gender. If a man is innocent in any false rape allegation, the court is there to protect his rights too. False rape cases falls under the purview of section 182 of IPC.
How to Avoid a Rape Accusation
Nowadays, most of the women are misusing this protection as a weapon against men. Rape is a serious offense where a woman always holds an upper hand and therefore, if any false allegation is made by them against any person, it may be devastating for the accused, as it has a long-term effect on his life.
A person can protect himself against false rape allegations by not creating grounds for real rape charges. So always obtain consent and only have sexual intercourse with partners that can provide that consent. This includes not having sex with partners that are too high or intoxicated to consent if she ever says “NO” pack it up and get out.
Now on considering all above given facts it may be inferred that the ratio of false rape cases has been rising since the new amendment in rape law in 2013 in India. However, such false rape cases may destroy the fabric of society and misuse of law for various motives.
What are the steps to take if a false FIR (First Information Report) is filed against you regarding false rape allegations?
If a false FIR is filed against you for rape allegations, it can be a traumatic experience. It is important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to deal with it. Immediately seek legal advice, provide evidence supporting your innocence, cooperate with the investigation, and follow your lawyer's guidance. Knowing how to deal with false FIRs can make a significant difference in clearing your name and avoiding further legal issues.
Which country has the strictest laws in respect of rape?
India, after the Anti-Rape Bill passed in 2013, came up with strong punishment for rape culprits. If a person is found guilty of rape assault, they are liable to 14 years of imprisonment, in some of the cases, life imprisonment and death sentences may also be pronounced
Does rape amounts to Criminal Offense or a civil offense?
Rape being regarded a serious offense is covered under the category of a criminal offense.
What punishment is to be imposed on a person falsely accusing another person of rape ?
Though no specific punishment has been prescribed in law, the punishment to be imposed for false rape cases depends on case to case and on the discretion of the court.
Whether the strict laws imposed in respect of rape cases Is a weapon for women?
The strict laws imposed in respect of rape are for the safeguard of the women, however, some of them take undue advantage to which the right of women fails to have justice.