THE MENACE AND SPECTRE OF FAKE CASES BY WOMEN
“A man is born guilty and a woman is born innocent”. This mentality is prevailing in our country since many years has to be wiped off. The women centric laws appear to be a blessing for women these days especially in abusive or violent relationships. These laws being overwhelmingly gender biased are misused. Most of the complaints are filed in the heat of moment or to implicate their enemies and this a classic example of women using as a weapon the very law that was made to protect her. Implicating men and filing false, frivolous and fake cases against men is becoming a new normal these days, and this is working as tyranny not only for men but also for those women who are real victims of such filthy acts. Justice DY Chandrachud once said that Indian Constitution is itself feminist. Consensual sex and afterwards blackmailing the mail partner is becoming a common practise nowadays. The primary reason behind such incidents is to extort money from men. What is pertinent here is that the conviction rate of rape was 27.1% in 2013, 32.2% in 2017 and only 27.2% in the year 2018. While there is National Commission for Women under National Commission for Women Act,1990, there is no Commission for men. A plethora of offences reported under section 509, 354, 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D, 376 and 498A of Indian Penal Code are found to be vexatious and frivolous which are filed only to satisfy personal malevolence. The basic principle of criminal law i.e. “Hundred criminals might walk away free but an innocent should not be punished” must be especially focussed and kept in mind while deciding such cases to meet the ends of justice because The principle of equality requires equity.
Constitutionally guaranteed right to equality is often contradictory to the harsh and societal reality of the land. It was the year 2013 when criminal law amendment act 2013 was promulgated after the brutal and filthy gang rape & subsequent death of a girl in Delhi. It also inserted new sections in the IPC with regard to sexual offences such as voyeurism, stalking, intentional disrobing of a woman and sexual harassment. Actually in a contemporary society like ours, men are caught up in a system that seemed to care little about the facts & evidence and more about branding a men as a molester, a criminal, a pervert. The pain, the phase through which a man and his family have to go through while facing a false charge cannot be described in words. The alleged accused has to face physical and mental harassments and torture at various stages. Without even knowing the facts of both the sides of story, men are assumed and branded as criminals and the judgment is given by the media, social media and public even before the trial starts. People are too quick to judge in such cases. The number of sexual harassment, molestation, rape and domestic violence cases have increased alarmingly after the Delhi gang rape case of 2012. It has been seen in a plethora of cases of rape that even when the act was consensual, the parents of the female use criminal justice system to end the relationship. Moreover Indian families are more willing to have the stigma of rape rather than having their daughters blemished choosing her own sex partner. Chastity of the women is very important in Indian families and such kind of relationship is considered as taboo.
According to DCW i.e. Delhi commission of women’s report 53.2% of the rape cases filed in April 2013 and 2014 July in the capital were found false. Even if one is acquitted after the due process of law, one cannot get his status back. People are very quick to judge. It has also been seen in a number of cases that women feel raped if they don’t marry the man they had sexual relationships with. Not only that, according to Justice Malimath committee section 498A IPC should be made compoundable and bailable. In a country where crores of cases are already pending in courts, such fake, vexatious and frivolous cases are wasting the valuable time of courts and are resulting in multiplicity of cases. Justice Hari Pal Verma of Punjab & Haryana High Court in an order passing anticipatory bail said police can proceed against the complainant for false case of molestation. In “Kamlesh Devi V. Jaipal & others” Special Leave Petition (Criminal) 9320 of 2019 Diary No(s).34053 of 2019 while dealing with a matter of domestic violence the court opined that mere vague allegation is not sufficient to bring the case within Domestic Violence Act.
In “Sushil Kumar Sharma V. Union of India” AIR 2005 SC 3100 the court while dealing with a matter of domestic violence U/S 498A of IPC held that the investigating agencies and the courts have to make effort to see that an innocent person is not made to suffer because of unfounded, baseless and malicious allegations. It also turned the contention to formulate a set of guidelines to protect innocents from the abuse of the provision. On one hand we have section 498A of IPC along with Domestic Violence Act to protect women against domestic violence or cruelty but on the other hand there is no law prevailing protecting the rights of men. The only remedy a husband has is to file a divorce case on the grounds of cruelty by his wife.
Similarly in “Onkar Nath Mishra V. State NCT of Delhi” (2000) 2 SCC 561 the court held that the provision should not be allowed to let it as a device for achieving oblique motives and also held that section 498A was introduced with the avowed object of combating the menace of dowry deaths & harassment of a woman but the provision should not be allowed to be used as a weapon or a device for achieving oblique motives.
Keeping in mind the drawbacks of section 498A the Hon’ble SC in “Preeti Gupta V. State of Jharkhand”(2010) 7 SCC 677 held that a serious reboot of section 498A is warranted by the legislature.
A man can be booked under DV act if her wife thinks she has been insulted, but on the other hand if a man is insulted, harassed or abused either physically or mentally there is no law for safeguarding his interest. Radical feminists claim that 70% of women in India face domestic violence but they never talk about the percentage of convictions arising out of these complaints, neither they talk on how men suffer domestic violence. Men only have duties, responsibilities and obligations, they don’t have any right to safeguard their interest.
Recently in “Rajesh Sharma V. State of Uttar Pradesh” AIR 2017 SC 3869 a two judge bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court noted that most of the cases U/S 498A are filed in the heat of the moment on trivial grounds and are not bonafide. The court also issued a set of directives to prevent harassment and social enigma of such accused and directed District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) to set up a family welfare committee in each district and assign them the test of examining the veracity of very such case filed.
• Setting up a Men Commission.
• Judiciary should be cautious and careful while convicting/acquitting the accused.
• Offences such as section 498A IPC should be made compoundable and bailable.
• Offences like rape and domestic violence should be made gender neutral.
• Setting up of guidelines to be followed by police while dealing with such cases.
Although there are widespread incidents of false cases being lodged by women to take revenge, to blackmail or to extort money from men but on the other hand we cannot deny the fact there are large number of genuine cases which are not even reported by women. According to National Crime Record Bureau(NCRB) 2014 and National family health survey only 6% cases of sexual violence against women are reported to the police. Moreover the real victims of such acts have to go through a lot to get justice. And since we have to see both the sides of a coin and protect the rights of both men and women, in such cases what is most pertinent and important is the role of judiciary. judiciary must establish a point of equilibrium while deciding such cases and must be cautious in recognizing real victims and the frivolous cases because whatever the circumstances are “Justice is Supreme.”
Author: Akash Dikshit,
Campus Law Centre, Faculty Of Law, University Of Delhi/ 2nd year/ law student