Friday, January 11, 2013

In the wake of the protests over the Delhi rape case, false rape claims are rampant in India

The Punjab police reported ten false cases of rape in just one week. Police say that criminal proceedings would be initiated against those who made false allegations. Since the nationwide protests against the Delhi rape case, complaints have been pouring in by the victims of sexual harassment -- whether true or false.

The rush to report rape was attributed in part to the strict instructions issued to all districts police officials to take stern action and to be sensitive towards cases related to women and children.

Already, the state top cop Sumedh Singh Saini has shot off an advisory to all the field officers across the state to exercise restraint in sexual assault cases. The advisory read, “While it is imperative to ensure prompt registration of cases and expeditious and vigorous investigation in all cases of sexual assault and violence, at the same time, it is incumbent on the district police chiefs to ensure that innocent persons are not booked or harassed merely on the basis of false allegations and by misrepresentation and distortion of facts. The increase in number of false cases does not mean that we won’t look into these complaints. We cannot turn insensitive towards that. We will strictly follow the law and take appropriate action as per the rules. Those filing fake cases, and giving false information, stands to face action.”

And just today, a news story reports police saying that a case of alleged rape by a former husband of a divorcee was concocted. The woman had complained to police that she was raped by her husband, but police said that the woman not only changed her statements frequently but had registered six cases against her former husband at different police stations that were later proved to be false.