What is Sexual harassment?
- Unwelcomed Behavior of verbal or physical sexual advances, pressure/requests for sexual favors, conduct of a sexual in nature like making signs, sounds, jokes or comments. Make unwelcomed sexual looks or gestures, deliberately touching, leaning over, cornering, hugging, kissing, patting, stroking or pinching. Making phone calls, sending messages or contents is comes under sexual harassment.
- But as per UN a world body (Ref: https://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf ) it applies only to Women, and terming only Women can be Victim and men are always Perpetrator. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, and not only on women, men are also assaulted not only by men but women too no matter your age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may have many of the same feelings and reactions as other women survivors of sexual assault, but they may also face some additional challenges because of legal aspects, society, social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.
- False case of raping daughter filed by mother against father quashed
- Brother-in-law falsely accused of raping daughter to settle property dispute
- Father acquitted in false rape case filed by minor daughter
Such stories are now available at the click of the mouse, from almost every corner of India. False cases of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse are a dark reality of the Indian society that devastates the falsely accused man’s soul, shatters his self-respect and for many, purges the hope to live. No wonder male suicide rates for entire India is 14.3 per 100,000 population. As compared to females, the value ranges up to 3.5 times for men.
Table 27: Suicide incidence rate (per 100,000 population) across NMHS* states
*NMHS: National Mental Health Survey, carried out by National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS)
Not long back, a man would return back home from work happily to find solace in his family i.e. wife, children, relatives, neighbors. However, rapid social development, unchecked and blatant misuse of gender-specific laws (as opposed to gender-neutral laws in advanced nations), easy access to luxury, competition for money etc. are some factors that might have facilitated the slow unnoticed change of society with such high rate of suicides, one to which we might have already seem to have come to terms with.
Why women file case cases with police and courts?
- The lust for Money;
- The lust for Ego protection/ satisfaction;
- The lust for Sex; and
- Hatred of men
The above can be abbreviated as MESH which also means ’the web’. The existing mechanisms of the executive, police and the judiciary offers not much support and hope.
No wonder, the family has become the most unsafe place for a man. The problem is still unrecognized, and a common man has become even more vulnerable, with existing vulnerability to mortality due to communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and mental health conditions has been topped with high incidence of suicides among men.
As per Section 209 of the Indian Penal Code, “Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly, or with intent to injure or annoy any person, makes in a Court of Justice any claim which he knows to be false, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine”. The essential ingredients of an offence under Section 209 are:
- The accused made a claim;
- The claim was made in a Court of Justice;
- The claim was false, either wholly or in part;
- That the accused knew that the claim was false; and
- The claim was made fraudulently, dishonestly, or with intent to injure or to annoy any person.
Despite all the ingredients of Section 209, the victims of such false and fraudulent cases are either not aware or are so shaken that they don’t file prosecution. In some cases where he does have the courage and the money left, the system ensures that he leaves the battle in between. Rarely does a man fights to the finish, but there have been convictions, including in the false allegations against former Chief Justice of India Mr. Ranjan Gogoi.
- Physical, mental, psychological, social and economic health of the victim is severely affected
- Job loss, loss to business in these competitive times
- Our media editorials rarely highlight the plight of such victims.
- False propaganda leading to loss of social status and support
- Though society recognizes the need for social support for female victims of abuse, there is almost nil support for the male victims of abuse.
The Way Forward
- Social recognition of the problem of male abuse through false cases
- Community awareness programs
- Funding of NGOs willing to support such victims
- Special funding from government to help them rise to their feet
- Free legal services (or to be borne by the party filing false cases when proved) in all cases proved to be false as this is a crime against the state and the victim is merely helping the state in restoring the trust in its justice system
- Academic institutions to introduce this as a research topic in law, social sciences and humanities.
- Central Board of Secondary Education should introduce this as a chapter in social science textbooks for students’ awareness, debate and understanding of the ill-effects on the society.
- Promote research by academic institutions on ‘False Cases’ to ascertain reasons, conduct investigations, and find solutions
- HC Quashes Case against TN Man Falsely Accused of Raping Daughter; Justice Anand Venkatesh pointed out that ‘cheap tactics’ had been adopted to make the husband fall in line. THE NEWS MINUTE. 21 August 2019; Accessed 7 Aug 2020 https://www.thequint.com/news/india/false-rape-allegations-tamil-nadu-chennai-high-court-takes-action
- Aneesha Bedi. Chandigarh: Child used as ‘scapegoat’ in fake rape case to implicate uncle; Property dispute: Court says girl’s widow mother filed complaint to settle scores with brother-in-law. Hindustan Times, Chandigarh 2018 March 14; Accessed 7 Aug 2020 https://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh-child-used-as-scapegoat-in-fake-rape-case-to-implicate-uncle/story-1gJNE3cSqCwk42r4TRyerK.html
- Press Trust of India, New Delhi. Father acquitted in false rape case filed by minor daughter. 17 July 2015; Accessed 7 August 2020 https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/father-acquitted-in-false-rape-case-filed-by-minor-daughter-115071700472_1.html
- Joanna Jolly. Does India have a problem with false rape claims? BBC News. 8 February 2017. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38796457 Accessed 7 August 2020
- Sandra Newman. What kind of person makes false rape accusations? Quartz 11 May 2017 https://qz.com/980766/the-truth-about-false-rape-accusations/ ; Accessed 7 August 2020
- Domestic Violence: The Male Struggle to Survive and Mental health. August 1, 2020 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3665274
- A STUDY ON MENTAL HEALTH OF INDIAN MEN – Criminals are Made, Not Born, July 6, 2020 https://mynation.net/voice/criminals/
SSRN SOURCE : https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3673754