medical examination of rape victim

This article is written by Dhruv Dikshit,  a student of LC-II, University of Delhi, on False Accusation Of Rape and Punishment For False Accusation In India.

To invade someone’s bodily sovereignty without consent or to manufacture consent by unlawful means is an offence that cannot be described in its entirety. The victim of such an offence is subjected to mental trauma that leaves a scar which remains for the entire natural life of the victim and haunts the victim in unimaginable and unfathomable ways.  The life of the victim can never go back to its original state.

To paint a picture, consider the perspective of the victim during the commission of the crime. The victim, unaware that such a grave violation is going to be subjected to her, is minding her own business when suddenly the perpetrator imposes his will onto the victim with absolutely no regard for the victim at all. The victim’s entire world gets distorted and disrupted. The thought of being absolutely helpless wherein no one comes to her aid and neither can she help herself and being treated as a subservient is damaging beyond any comprehensible measurable parameter. Furthermore, the social stigma attached to this horrendous act intensifies the impact on the victim. The Indian society attaches sacrosanct importance to the honour and chastity of women and that a woman without it is treated as an outcast and useless.

2013 Changes in Laws Related to Sexual Offences

The government being a welfare state has taken this aspect in account and to rectify the situation. After the Nirbhaya incident that shook the entire foundation of the country, the need to amend the laws regarding sexual harassment had become indispensable and the Justice Verma Committee had made recommendations which were incorporated into the Indian Penal Code the 2013 amendment has made even stringent laws to protect the women and to provide them a sense of safety.

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Prior to the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013, the law of the land stated that a man is said to commit rape if that man has sexual intercourse. But after the amendment, if penetration is made by any part of the body into any part of the victim’s body which includes penetration by an object, the said act is considered to be rape.

Furthermore, in case of gang rape, the amendment is even more stringent. Prior to the change, the minimum punitive quantum was 10 years which can extend to life which an added provision that under “adequate and special circumstances” the punitive quantum can be reduced below the minimum prescribed. This particular provision was repealed by the amendment to make sure that it cannot be exploited in any circumstance and the minimum punishment was increased to 20 years which may extend to life based on the circumstances of the commission of the offence and the gravity and magnitude of the offence.

The idea behind the sentencing policy is not full proof and there exist anomalies whilst dispensing sentences as it is the discretion of the judge to mandate a sentence. However, there exists guiding principles which must be kept in mind while formulating punitive quantum. Deterrence and retribution are used to an extent to induce fear into the society which in theory would make a potential perpetrator think twice before committing the act. Although, if the perpetrator thinks he can get away with the crime, regardless of the consequences he would have to face, he will eventually commit the act. To counteract the said guiding principles, there is reformative and rehabilitative aspects as well which focus on the rectification of mental faculties of the convict to make him understand that what he did was wrong and why.

False accusation of rape in India

Even a cursory reading of the new law on rape brings to light the exceptionally inclusive approach to provide justice in rape cases. However, it also raises the question that if such a law, that imposes the aforesaid heavy punishment, is misused then what are going to be the consequences for the falsely accused person. Without trivialising the issue of rape and the fact that it is rampant and a whole lot of cases do not even get registered with the police, one cannot ignore the fact that if a woman falsely accuses a man, the victimization of that particular person is going to humungous. The importance and gravity that will be attributed to the statement of the accused is going to be dramatically lesser than the importance and truth value that will be attributed to the supposed “victim”. Evidence and conduct does help to an extent, but what will a person do when the sexual act was done with consent and then later on the presentation of that fact is distorted and presented as a non-consensual act.

A dishonourable and disrespectful trend of registering false rape cases has come to the come to light. It makes the law that provides protection for rape a trivial. Moreover, it ridicules and lampoons the amendment and the fact that stringent laws adopted by the parliament to prevent crime against women have in fact resulted in the exacerbation of the current situation.

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, 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 consequences of such a shift are extremely problematic and drastic. Firstly, it stereotypes the Indian male population and reduces it to only one thing which can be attributed to their personality. This reductive approach further intensifies hold of patriarchy as it is reinforcing and misrepresenting the progress that the country has made to rectify and eliminate the system of patriarchy. The fact that more than half of the cases registered with the authorities are false, brings to light the fact that rectification of the society has in fact had materialized changes in that aspect. However, prior to the exposition of this statistic, the message that was repeatedly broadcasted with every case filed to the society and to the international community is grossly misconstrued and radicalised and shows that India is regressing instead of progressing.

Furthermore, it produces a stark dichotomy in the Feminist movement which is anyway at a very nascent stage in India. The definition of feminism from equality has become fascism. The fact that women are filing false rape cases and simultaneously getting the support of such groups that help women who have actually been victimized, grossly trivializes the objective of achieving equality and mutual comprehension between the various genders. On one hand, the movement is trying its level best to spread awareness regarding equality and on the other hand when people get to know that rape cases largely are false, the society begins to associate that statistic with the feminist movement and which eventually delegitimizes the efforts of feminism altogether.

Amidst the haphazard consequences, the males who have in fact not done anything unlawful and are not in conflict with law are made out to be perpetrators as well. This further eliminates that fact that there are men who respect women and the law and eventually all the men are clubbed together as misogynists and chauvinists.

The report further revealed that between June 2013 and December 2013, the number of cases found to be untrue were 525. And in between, January 2014 and July 2014, the number of falsified cases was 900. The Delhi Commission of Women further had stated that it was investigating individual complaints of rape to ensure 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 accusation.

Last year, a Delhi court said that it’s “becoming a very difficult job, now-a-days, for the courts to differentiate the genuine rape cases from the false ones”, while acquitting the four of a family accused in the case. Recently, the Jaipur police busted an extortion racket run by a woman who had threatened men to pay her or face a rape complaint. Shamina Shafiq, of the National Commission of Women stated that “It is sad that people are misusing the rape laws to settle scores, while there are so many women who have nowhere to turn to in genuine cases. How will they gather the guts if this turns out to be the trend? A victim’s family will also dissuade her from complaining”.

Raising concerns over the “misuse of rape laws” for implicating men, a special fast-track court acquitted a man of rape charges and has directed the court official to initiate proceedings against the woman for giving false evidence before the court. Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat had stated that “This is a classic example of how men are being implicated in rape cases to settle personal scores. This is a perfect illustration of total misuse of rape laws…these women, who turn out to be the tormentors, and not the victims, should be punished under the appropriate provisions of law”.

Punishment for filing false accusation of rape

In case a false complaint has been registered or false evidence has been presented to prosecute an innocent person or any such intention exists to accuse an innocent individual, the Indian Penal Code has codified certain offences wherein falsifying has taken place and the following defences can be taken:-

Section 182: False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person

Whoever gives to any public servant any information which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, such public servant-

(a) to do or omit anything which such public servant ought not to do or omit if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, or

(b) to use the lawful power of such public servant to the injury or annoyance of any person,

shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

In the aforementioned section of IPC, if a person has provided false information to the police which is false and still has been deliberately provided to the police in order to trigger wrongful proceedings on to the other person out of vengeance and cause mental harassment to the said person, shall be dealt with by mandating a punitive quantum which may extend to 6 months.

Section 186: Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions

Whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

Section 191: Giving false evidence

Whoever, being legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth, or being bound by law to make a declaration upon any subject, makes any statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, is said to give false evidence.

Section 192: Fabricating false evidence

Whoever causes any circumstance to exist or makes any false entry in any book or record, or makes any document containing a false statement, intending that such circumstance, false entry or false statement may appear in evidence in a judicial proceeding, or in a proceeding taken by law before a public servant as such, or before an arbitrator, and that such circumstance, false entry or false statement, so appearing in evidence, may cause any person who in such proceeding is to form an opinion upon the evidence, to entertain an erroneous opinion touching any point material to the result of such proceeding, is said “to fabricate false evidence”.

Section 193: Punishment for false evidence

Whoever intentionally gives false evidence in any stage of a judicial proceeding, or fabricates false evidence for the purpose of being used in any stage of a judicial proceeding, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine, and whoever intentionally gives or fabricates false evidence in any other case, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 195: Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of offence punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment

Whoever gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any person to be convicted of an offence which by the law for the time being in force in India is not capital, but punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term of seven years or upwards, shall be punished as a person convicted of that offence would be liable to be punished.

Section 196: Using evidence known to be false

Whoever corruptly uses or attempts to use as true or genuine evidence any evidence which he knows to be false or fabricated, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave or fabricated false evidence.

Section 199: False statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence

Whoever, in any declaration made or subscribed by him, which declaration any Court of Justice, or any public servant or other person, is bound or authorized by law to receive as evidence of any fact, makes any statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, touching any point material to the object for which the declaration is made or used, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.

Section 200: Using as true such declaration knowing it to be false

Whoever corruptly uses or attempts to use as true any such declaration, knowing the same to be false in any material point, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.

Section 211: False charge of offence made with intent to injure

Whoever, with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes or causes to be instituted any criminal proceeding against that person, or falsely charges any person with having committed an offence, knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding or charge against that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both;

and if such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false charge of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Furthermore, under section 340 of Code of Criminal Procedure, the law states that there are two conditions subject to which a complaint can be filed against a person who has given false affidavit or false evidence in a proceeding before a court. Firstly, the person has given false affidavit in a proceeding before the court and, secondly, in the opinion of the court, it is expedient in the interest of justice to make, an enquiry against such a person in relation to the offence committed by him.

Add to that, a notice is issued to certain police officers under this section for an enquiry to determine if false evidence was fabricating record and putting up a false case.

Preventive measures when faced with false accusation

One must always file a counter FIR in case a false complaint has been registered as that would immediately bring to light ambiguity regarding the case and appropriate investigation will take place.

However, there is no codified protocol or procedure that one needs to follow in case a false RAPE complaint has been filed against an individual, but certain measures can be taken to make sure that further misappropriation and misconstruction does not happen:-

  • A reputable defence lawyer must be consulted or hired immediately. If one can afford to pay then one must not think twice before making such an investment as the trade-off will be remarkably detrimental.
  • One must not speak to the police or any other authority without the presence of his lawyer as that would further prevent any arm twisting. Even though a person is innocence but a false judgement can still be dispensed if it is not argued vehemently.


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  1. How do you lodge a counter FIR against a false FIR as police will say they are investigating the case so there is no proof that allegation are true or false

  2. Is there any section for police who intentionally register a false rape case when the police knows the. Whole facts that there is no rape case take place . Lot’s of

  3. It is sad. It is even more sad that the court and police don’t react.
    One of the biggest misusers of these laws at this moment is a woman called Anubha Sinha from Gurgaon (twitter @daoriginalsinna). She filed false rapecases, several domestic violence case and other women related cases. Time will come and court will punish her, but it takes time. This woman is that shameless that she even filed a case on her own family to extort money and property. The case is available online at the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gurgaon
    Case Type: Dv – Domestic violence, Filing Number: 1348/2016Filing Date: 25-01-2016
    Registration Number: 14/2016, Registration Date: 25-01-2016, CNR Number: HRGR03-001341-2016. Several FIR for criminal intimidation and harassment are filed against Anubha Sinha, but the police doesn’t pick it up (see FIR against Anubha Sinha no 1442/2014 filed 14/11/2014 at the Shree Nagar police station in Thane, Mumbai. Police doesn’t pick it up yet. And there are many more. Claims to be a multiple rapevictim but is obsessed by sex and money as her blog suggests

    Anyway, good post on this kind of misuse of law! Thanks!

  4. The NGOs, claiming to be working for women empowerment, have spoiled India’s image abroad by exaggerating the situation. They do this to collect donations. The radical feminism, imported from the USA by some over ambitious women, has ruined family life in India. Women should be respected and given equal opportunities for progress. However, men should not be made scapegoats.


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