Male Rape And Crimes Against Men In India, That Nobody Is Talking About
India has risen to a new awakening after the ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case – candlelight vigils, debates and active discussions seeking stiffer laws for crimes against women have become a norm.
While making India safer for women still remains country’s top priority, another section of our society demands grave attention – the male victims, who seek equal protection from the law.
1. Male Rape Cases
According to an NCRB report from 2012, nearly 175 men have been raped since 2009. The low registered numbers are attributed to the fact that the male rape victims rarely seek police help and suffer in isolation due to humiliation.
What the Law States: As per Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, rape can only be committed by a man against a woman. It says nothing about the male adult victims. After the ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case, a special committee set up by the government recommended making rape a ‘gender-neutral crime’.
Challenges: Allegations of rape must be accompanied by a proof in the court of law. For women, a rape kit solves the purpose. However, any such accusation made by an adult male against a female is difficult to prove.
2. False Rape Accusations
A shocking revelation by the Delhi Commission for Women stated that 53.2% of the rape cases filed from April 2013 to July 2014 in Delhi were false, as reported by DNA.
What the Law States: In December 2014, a Delhi court observed that it was high time to deal strictly with women who lodge false rape complaints against men to settle personal scores, given the intense humiliation and emotional distress faced by the accused. There’s still no stringent law in place to check this misuse.
Challenges: Even after acquittal from the court, there is no redressal mechanism possible to save the accused from the emotional turmoil, loss of respect and psychological damage.
3. Dowry Harassment
Nearly 10,000 complaints of dowry harassment filed in India are false (10% of the total complaints), making Section 498A one of the most abused laws in the country.
What the Law States: Offences booked under Section 498A are non-bailable, non-compoundable (no compromise between the complainant and the accused can be reached) and call for immediate arrest of the accused and the family members.
Supreme Court has now restrained police from directly arresting the accused in such cases. TOI reports, the issue was taken up in the Parliament in March, 2015 and it has been proposed to make dowry law compoundable and impose higher penalty on the false complainant.
Challenges: Getting this ordinance passed is challenging as it might go against genuine dowry cases.
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