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False rape cases on the rise: Are tougher rape laws being misused?

By Reetu
Senior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, who has been accused of rape by a 26-year-old model.
Shiv Sena on Saturday had triggered a fresh controversy by saying that it has become a "fashion" to charge men with rape. They said so while coming out in support of senior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, who has been accused of rape by a 26-year-old model.

"Cases of charging men with molestation and rape in hi-fi societies to create hype is on a rise now. It has almost become a fashion. After he has served for so many years in the police force, one model now charges DIG Sunil Paraskar with rape and in one night he becomes a villain. Such accusations have become good weapons to seek personal revenge," the party said in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

When this statement was given by the party everyone came out against the party but now with a new twist in the case, it seems what they said was right in this particular case.

What is the case?

In 2012, the acquittal rate in rape cases was 46 per cent

The 25-year-old model had lodged a complaint against senior Maharashtra IPS officer and Mumbai DIG Sunil Paraskar on July 23 and accused him of raping and molesting her between November 2013 and March 2014 when he was posted as the Additional Commissioner of Police (North Region) with the Mumbai Police.

Following a complaint by the model, Paraskar was booked under IPC sections 376(2) (rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354 (D) (stalking).

What is the new twist?

The case of rape and molestation against Mumbai DIG Sunil Paraskar got murkier after shocking claims were made by the model's former lawyer. The Mumbai Police recorded the statement of model's former lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui who said the following:

"My client did not mention to me that she and Paraskar are close to each other. I did not find enough substance into the allegations which my client was making. My client told me that she was doing it for publicity and she wants to get into a TV show."

"When I learnt that my client is misusing my name and reputation I decided to back off. I have submitted the CCTV evidence and my version to the police," he added.

Whereas in her complaint, the model had said that he raped her several times when she visited him with regard to some work.

Tougher rape laws leading to increase in false cases?

As per a TOI report, "Now, there's some evidence to support this claim. Statistics on the disposal of rape cases in Delhi's trial courts show a sharp increase in the acquittal rate after the infamous December 16, 2012, gang rape. While in 2012, the acquittal rate in rape cases was 46%, in the first eight months of 2013 (for which exact figures are available) it shot up to 75%. Sources said acquittals remain high this year as well, accounting for around 70% of the cases.

Legal experts say the high acquittal rates are because of a spurt in the number of false rape cases being filed. The observations of judges in acquittal cases also bear this out."

This alarming acquittal rate is becoming a big reason to worry. Post December 16 incident, laws dealing with sexual offences against women were strengthened for speedy justice to women in such cases. But if the laws will be misused like this then what is the point of strengthening the law as this will hamper the victims who are really facing such problems.

Mumbai North Fact Check
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