Today is the era of Live-in relationships. A live-in relationship is a setting where couples live together without marrying. Couples cohabit, mainly to check compatibility with each other. In India, pre-marital sex is on a rise, online hotel rooms with special offers are easily available for the couples who seek someplace to have pre-marital sex. In such types of relationships, the couple promises to marry each other and spend their whole life together. Everything looks good in these relationships. But the problem arises when there is a breach of promise to marry the man. Women believe that she belongs to only one man. She felt cheated by the man and her faith in the man and relationship is broken. In simple words, after the breakup, consensual sex is termed as rape and they register the false rape case to put pressure on the man. He might get scared and marries the woman. They ignore the fact that it would amount to forcible marriage. This makes the man incapable to change his mind with which girl he should marry. The Supreme Court in case Dhruvaram Murlidhar Sonar vs. The State of Maharashtra held that “consensual sex between live-in partners is not raped if the man fails to marry”.
Most of the rape cases are invoked maliciously mainly to extort money from the man. Women often demand money from the man and promise to withdraw the false charges for money. Here, one question arises that which woman wants to settle the dispute with money instead of Justice if she is really raped? This article tends to expound the effect of false rape accusations on man and his family, societal and media behavior towards that man, and some strict laws that can be implemented to prevent false rape cases.
The woman-oriented laws were made to prevent the harassment of women in the society. But instead for that purpose, these laws were used as a weapon by the woman against the man with whom she has enmity or personal grudge. This weapon is very effective against any man because our so-called feminist society takes the news of harassment of women very seriously, without knowing the root problem of it.
As we know that arrest in rape cases, no matter whether the accused is convicted or acquitted, can takes a lifelong toll on the person’s mind, causes social humiliation, snatches liberty, result in job loss, degradation in financial status and leaves scars forever. Our Media, both print and visual, use words like ‘rape’, ‘rapist’ or ‘monster’ with man’s name, and the rape survivor gets moral sympathy, which she actually not deserves in false rape cases. In today’s era, a parallel media trial is taking place even if there is proceeding is pending in the courts. This causes huge social humiliation to the accused in false rape cases. Thus, there is a need to differentiate between true rape cases and fake rape cases.
Still, we have to understand the plight of women in true rape cases. In my opinion, the main difference between the true rape cases and fake rape cases lies in the power and ability to give consent by the women. If the woman is competent enough to give consent and can decide what is right and what is wrong for her, then in such situations she cannot file rape case. Our Penal Laws like IPC, 1860, and POCSO Act, 2012, fixes the age of consent for both males and females at 18 years. If a woman, under 18 years of age, gives consent for sex, then it is of no value because she is incompetent to give consent. In such a case, man would be liable for not anything less than rape.
Living in a Live-in relationship is one thing but obtaining the consent for sex from a woman by falsely promising her to marry is another thing. The former is nothing but later constitutes rape. The Supreme Court in the case of Anurag Soni vs. The State of Chhattisgarh held that consensual sex on the false promise of marriage is considered as rape.
The number of rape cases filed after the tragic Nirbhaya Rape Case in Dec 2012 has immensely increased. But, a report of DCW says that 53.2% of rape cases filed from April 2013 to July 2014 was false. The data journalist Rukmini Shrinivasan decided to do her own investigation to check whether Delhi’s reputation as the rape capital of India is justified. Her research suggests that sometimes families of women were also involved in filing false rape cases. She says that “Families are more willing to have the stigma of rape rather than having the stigma of their daughter choosing her own sex or life partner”. Many of these are related to inter-caste relationships. She also read and analyzed the pattern of the story that a woman narrates in false rape cases. She said, in most of the false rape cases, the story is that the woman was taken in a moving car, she was given some sedated cold drinks, which render them unconscious, and then they were raped. Therefore, the courts or police after getting similar facts can prima facie try to differentiate between true and false rape cases. This would benefit the accused in getting bail.
The statement of complainant and witness should be of Sterling Quality
The Judiciary should convict the accused only if the victim’s testimony is of sterling quality. The Supreme Court in the case of Santosh Prasad @ Santosh Kumar v. State of Bihar ruled that the accused can be convicted only when the statements of the accused are absolutely trustworthy and unblemished. The weightage of statements of a sterling witness is of the highest quality, whose version should not be unassailable. The sole testimony of the victim cannot be considered as gospel truth even in the absence of any supporting pieces of evidence. The statement of the victim, alone, is not enough to convict the accused.
Complainants should not be Vexatious Litigants
Vexatious Litigant is the person who files several false, unreasonable, and frivolous legal cases. Their motive is only to injure or annoy the other party. It is the abuse of the judicial process. The court can declare such person a Vexatious Litigant, after seeing his/her background conduct. Such a person would not be able to file any civil or criminal complaints in lower courts without the prior permission of the concerned High Court. There are no such laws in India (at the union level). However, there are some states which have Vexatious Litigation (Prevention) Act like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, etc. The Law Commission in its 192nd report recommended on Prevention of Vexatious Litigation. The legislature should enact the Prevention of Vexatious Litigation Act to prevent an increasing number of false rape cases.
Compensation to the acquitted
Apart from punishing the women under S. 182, IPC, for the initiation of the false rape cases, the State should make more strict laws related to compensation by the women to the acquitted person. For eg- she must pay compensation for all the litigation costs and mental agony to the acquitted person. The court should also impose fines for wasting time and efforts of the court because this type of activity also delays in trial of true rape cases. But the problem is that this would help the poor accused only but it is not beneficial for the accused that are financially well-off and suffers the false rape accusations and trial for nothing.
Denial or termination of Government Jobs
The woman who accuses men with false rape cases should be denied to any government jobs and incentives in the future. Her present government job should also be terminated. Some women at a very prestigious government job register false cases against innocent accused. They often misuse their power. So, the fear of termination of their jobs may reduce the number of false rape cases.
Reform in Defamation Laws
Under Section 500 of IPC, 1860 one can be punished for the offense of defamation. Defamation is an offense where one person harms the reputation of another person, either orally or in written form by telling false statements. In false rape cases man’s reputation is harmed, so, he can file the case of Defamation against the women. The offense of Defamation under IPC is a non-cognizable and bailable offense. In my opinion, it should be made cognizable offense and non-bailable offense and simple imprisonment should be converted into rigorous punishment in matters related to the false rape cases.
The laws to punish the complainants of false rape cases are lined in India. So, it is required to enact new laws or amend previous laws in order to reduce the number of false rape cases in India.
 Criminal Application No.- 3590 of 2012.
 Criminal Appeal No. 629 of 2019.
 Criminal Appeal No.- 264 of 2020.
 On 7th June 2005.
This article is written by Chetan Kumar student of B.A.LL.B. (Hons.) at Central Univesity of South Bihar
Also Read: Rape- A Shame for Nation