Misuse of rape laws – has it become so easy?

Student Files Fake Gang Rape Case after Missing University Exam

– I was simply aghast when I read this headline on a news portal early this December. The news reported that a 19-year-old student filed a fake complaint as she missed her exam after reaching university late and thus cooked up gang rape incident fearing an adverse reaction from her parents. Police had even launched a manhunt based on her complaint.

Another interesting news reported that there are Men’s rights activists urging men to be wary of women who file false cases of sexual abuse after facing rejection in a relationship. So much so that on February 14 instead of Valentine’s Day, the activists were urging men to instead observe “False Rape Case Day”! Not only men’s rights activists, a women’s group called MASHAAL (Mothers and Sisters of Husbands Against Abuse Law) that has been fighting for the rights of men joined the campaign to spread awareness of the misuse of law by women. News reported a case of a businessman who met a girl on Valentine’s Day and fell for her. After six months of relationship, the girl approached the police to file a case of sexual abuse. Later it came to light that the complaint was triggered by the man’s refusal to meet her demand for money to start her own business.

Woman men’s rights activist Manjulata Goyal says: “My son, a software engineer, was booked and arrested by police after my daughter-in-law complained against him despite having no evidence. We have been evicted from our own house. This is against the spirit of the law, which is meant to protect women, and not allow them to extort money from men.”

Another horrifying story was of a gang who extorted money by framing people in rape cases. Once a woman called Delhi Police control room and said she was abducted in a car and raped. The girl gave police number of the car. Two men who were arrested were shocked at the allegations leveled against them. Police also smelled the fish. CCTV footage investigation made things clear and further investigation revealed that the woman had also registered a case of rape against another man in Delhi’s Anand Vihar and withdrew her statement after some time. The men in this case told police that the girl has demanded Rs 10 lakh to withdraw the case. A plan was devised and the gang was caught red-handed.

In past years there have been growing complaints of women using recently-strengthened laws to settle personal scores or for vested interests. In recent times, courts have also thrown out several fake rape cases.

In a Delhi court, Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Kumar acquitted a man of the charge of raping a woman as the alleged victim confessed lodging a false rape case under pressure from her parents.

In another case, a Rewari court not only acquitted a man of the charges but also ordered prosecution of the woman complainant. Judge Phalit Sharma asserted that the prosecution had told a bundle of lies to the police and court and said “… She by concocting a story has not only misused the process of law, but further ruined the precious years of accused Ravi who remained in custody for no fault of his during the period of trial.”

Another Judge Nivedita Sharma while acquitting a man of charges of rape said that “It is time now to have laws to protect and restore the dignity of men charged with false rape cases. As everyone is just fighting to protect the honour of women, no one discusses the dignity and honour of a man. Where’s the law to protect a man from a woman when he is being persecuted and implicated in a false case? His plight may also continue after his acquittal as the implication may have caused an uproar in society but his acquittal may not even be noticed. He would continue to suffer the stigma of being accused of rape. It may not be possible to compensate him for humiliation, misery and distress”

In last few decades we have also seen many Hindu saints being targeted in bogus cases registered to malign their image in society. Such laws have come to existence, which have become easy weapons of revenge and abuse.

Of many, take for instance the case of Ramachandrapura Mutt Shankaracharya Shri Raghaveshwar Bharathi. It is yet another classical example of the vicious campaign running undercover to destroy Hinduism. In a judgment dated 31st March 2016, a sessions court in Bengaluru dismissed all charges against Shri Raghaveshwara Bharathi in the much sensationalised rape case.

In the high profile Sant Asharam Bapu case, the accuser girl in Jodhpur case had herself told her friend that ‘I speak what I am told to speak’. Neither the medical report nor the statement given by the gynaecologist confirms any case of rape. There were no signs of even minor abrasions in the medical report. The dubious NGO which counseled the girl and claimed to be authorized by Delhi Women’s Commission as ‘Crisis Intervention Centre for Rape Victims’ was found to be unauthorized. In the Ahmedabad case of Sant Asharam Bapu, the prosecutrix stated in a petition filed in the Gandhinagar court, ‘I had leveled the allegation under coercion. I wish to reveal the truth by altering my statement.’ Apart from this, Sudha Patel, one of the chief witnesses in the Jodhpur case, stated in Jodhpur Sessions Court, ‘It is absolutely false that my statements were taken on record by the police. I neither visited Jodhpur ever before, nor had I given any statement anywhere.’ All this and much more seem to have forced BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy to comment that “The greatest Indian misfire of justice in the 21st century is the continued judicial refusal of bail to 77 year old Asaram Bapu. Bogus case!”

So now, one thing is for sure that women today have the power to send men to jail and with pretty much ease. Laws meant to protect women are also abusing women themselves, those who are mothers, sisters or wives of the falsely accused.

By: N. M. Neekhra


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