“Undoing the Justice? Section 375 of the IPC & the manifestation of glaring inadequacies”

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Author- Gurvinder Kaur Bagga

INTRODUCTION

Rape is sexual intercourse that is carried out by an offender against the sufferer without that person’s consent. Rape is a criminal offence which is defined in Section 375 of the IPC. It is one of the most terrible crimes that happen in society at a large. It destroys the sufferer not physically but also mentally as it hit the privacy of the victim. It is very hard to survive with dignity after this traumatic incident as it demolishes the physical frame of the sufferer and leaves a permanent mark on the sufferer’s life.

To address, the above argument in the era of liberalization, equivalent rights, and emancipation of women, the rape cases on a daily average have reached 87%. Our own state Uttar Pradesh reported 3065 cases in the year 2020. After undergoing some horrible and depressing facts, now let’s try to look at our bigger picture which has been blurred due to a barrier called “Feminism”. We can say that now misusing the law has become a trend that results in a lot of false allegations to men.

Many innocent people have been trapped under such allegations. Men’s too are confined into a false accusation of rape by misrepresentation, fraud, or sometimes by being intoxicated. They too are harassed under false charges used by some women’s which are lately declared unsubstantiated. Blackmailing men after sexual intercourse is very easy for them to do. The ruthless behavior of women against male dominance and to accuse someone of allegedly raping her is neglected through patriarchy in feminism.

There are strict laws for the protection of women but where is the law which protects a man from a woman where he is being prosecuted and tormented in the false rape case. They continue to suffer the stigma of being a rape case accused. They are helpless to penetrate the mystery behind the untrue because there is no such law exists for a man till today. The brutal realization of being devastated sometimes leads to death or suicide who was later found not guilty for any such deed.

The profile of false rape cases in India is penetrating our day-to-day life. Now, what else could be the worst-case scenario for an innocent man when he founds himself accused of something which he had never committed in his life in real. Just a false rape claim for outraging any women’s chastity can ruin his social life in society and will blemish his personality of a good man forever. 53.2 percent of rape cases filed between April 2013 – July 2014 were false.

LAWS HAD CHANGED IN 2013

Delhi gang rape and murder case 2012 popularly knowns as the “Nirbhaya Case”. This incident left the whole country in a terror and this gives rise to amend certain laws and making strict laws for the protection of women. The criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2013 came into force on 3 February 2013 on the recommendations of Justice Verma. This act made amendments in the Indian Penal Code 1860 and had made very strict laws for the protection of women.

There is a major change that has been done in the definition of rape after this amendment. Earlier a man is said to commit the offense of rape if he has sexual intercourse but after this amendment definition has been enlarged.

Vishaka and Ors vs State of Rajasthan and Ors 13 August (1997), under this case, the court laid down certain guidelines for the protection of women at workplaces. Some of them are:

  • It is the responsibility of the employer and the other institutions to prevent the commission of acts of sexual harassment.
  • There should be a proper mechanism for the redressal of the complaints.
  • When sexual harassment takes place, it is the duty of the employer to take strict actions and to inform the authority who is responsible for it.
  •  It is the duty of every employee to raise issues of sexual harassment at worker’s meetings.
  • Appropriate disciplinary action should be commenced by the employer where there is misconduct in employment as defined in service rules.
  • Awareness should be created for the rights of the female employees in this regard notifying the guideline.

It is the duty of the employer and the person in charge to take all the necessary steps to support the victim where sexual harassment occurs by any third party.

For any woman who is working in a workplace, to be safeguarded, there will be a government and non-government organization institute for the workplace Harassment Committee for the worker and the committee for the worker and the committee will have a Lawyer Social Worker Counsellor. People of NGO will be kept and will be psychiatrists.

This committee will have a majority of women who will have to solve any case within 90 days. If he is not able to solve it within 90 days, then it will go to the court of the case. In these cases, the punishment which is mostly given to either activist will be suspended in any person or compensation will be taken or else it is punished through.

The Nirbhaya case and Vishaka guidelines revisited its committee and revamped many things again. The guidelines issued by the honorable Supreme Court broadened the definition of Sexual Harassment. These guidelines were replaced by The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention and Redressal) Act, 2013. This step was taken to ensure the safety of the women at the workplace but nowadays women are using these strict laws as a weapon against an innocent man by filing a false rape case against them in order to take revenge.

CASES OF FALSE ACCUSATION

VISHNU TIWARI CASE

Vishnu Tiwari who lives in Lalitpur a district in Uttar Pradesh was arrested on September 16 2000, when he was 23 years. He was convicted for rape under SC/ST Act. In 2003 three years later, he was booked for the charges of rape by a Lalitpur court and was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous punishment. He was further convicted under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

He was arrested because a woman from his village filed a complaint against him by saying that he had assaulted her when she was going from home to work in the field.  He was released from Agra central Jail on Wednesday, evening and no one came to meet him because no one is there in his family his father and younger brother had died when he was in prison. He was there in a prison for 20 years. Now he is 43 years old.

JUDGEMENT

On January 28, a division bench of Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Gautam Chowdhary declared him not guilty for the offence of rape. The Allahabad high court observed that: “The medical evidence should show some semblance of forcible intercourse, even if the prosecutrix, that the accused had gagged her mouth for ten minutes and had thrashed her on the ground. There would have been some injuries to a fully-grown lady.”

The court added, in our finding, the medical evidence goes to show the doctor did not find any sperm. The doctor categorically opined that no signs were of forcible sexual intercourse were found. This was also based on the finding that there were no internal injuries on the lady.

The court also said, “Factual data also goes to show that there are several contradictions in the examination-in-chief, as well as cross-examination of all three witnesses”. In view of the facts and evidence on record, we are convinced that the accused has been wrongly convicted. Hence the judgment and order impugned are reversed and the accused is acquitted.

JASLEEN KAUR CASE

A woman named Jasleen Kaur who was a member of Aam Adami Party (AAP) and a student of St. Stephen College, Delhi has filed a case of sexual harassment against Sarvjeet Singh in 2015. She shared a post on Facebook stating that Sarvjeet has verbally harassed her at Tilak Nagar Traffic Signal, and this post goes viral on social media.

As soon as the news went viral, everybody started supporting the women for taking an action against Sarvjeet Singh without listening to both the sides. Delhi Chief Minister and actress Sonakshi Sinha, praised her for her bravery. Sarvjeet Singh responded that the allegations that were made by Jasleen Kaur was false, it was only Jasleen who started to fight.

In a day, Sarvjeet Singh was arrested and was called “pervert”. He lost his job. The matter went to the Delhi Court and he appeared in all the hearings and on the other hand she skipped all the hearings. Her father told that she went to Canada for study. The court acquitted Sarvjeet Singh. He was finally proved not guilty.

SUGGESTION & CONCLUSION

Section 375, provides the rights to women so that they can feel safe and be protected, and lived with dignity in society. Strict laws are made for the safety of women and strict punishment is given to the person who violates any of the rights of the women. No doubt there should be women empowerment a strict action must be taken against the person who violates any of the rights of a woman. Women’s are treated as equal to men. 

The criminal law (Amendment) act 2013 has made many changes as it gives the whole power in the hands of the women for their safety but the makers of it didn’t think that if women will use these strict laws against innocent people then, what will be consequences of it. There are many cases where a woman files the wrong case against a man.

Due to this, many people suffer a lot they go through mental trauma. Women should get punishment for filing false cases against an innocent man so that they should also face the consequences for it. There should be a proper work balance between the legislature and judiciary to ensure justice for men and women. As the cases of misusing laws of rape case are rising, a court should start proceedings against the women who file false cases against an innocent man.


Author Gurvinder Kaur Bagga is a second-year law student at Amity University, Lucknow campus.