In 2013, when India was still boiling over with rage against the Nirbhaya gang rape and other cases, a fake message started doing rounds on messaging services. Now after a year, the messages have made a comeback.
Quite a few people are forwarding a fake message that claims a Section 233 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been amended, and a woman has a right to kill someone who tries to rape her.
The message is being circulated in the form of emails and smses on messaging platforms. It begins as â€śFinally a new law passed by modi govt today. As per Indian Penal Code 233. If a girl is suspected to be raped or getting raped,then she has the supreme right to kill the man,injure his sexual part or harm that person as dangerously and girl won't be blamed for murderâ€ť.
This is followed by what they describe as the expertâ€™s guideline to ensure safety for women at all places. However, the section 233 they mention is not even minutely related to matters of rape, sexual assault or even self-defence.
Section 233 in The Indian Penal Code relates to making or selling instrument for counterfeit coins. This message clearly is factually incorrect and misleading. Speaking to The News Minute, advocate and activist Sudha Ramalingan says that no such new law has been passed. â€śThere is a Right of Private Defence of body in the Indian Constitution and those apprehensive that their lives are in danger can exercise this rightâ€ť, she asserts.
It can be exercised by anyone and not just women, she adds. Section 100 of the IPC states, 'When the right of private defence of the body extends to causing death.â€”The right of private defence of the body extends, under the restrictions mentioned in the last preceding section, to the voluntary causing of death or of any other harm to the assailant, if the offence which occasions the exercise of the right be of any of the descriptions hereinafter enumerated.'
The clauses under which this act is applicable include assault with the intention of kidnapping, wrongful confinement, acid attack or attempt of acid attack, rape and gratifying unnatural lust. Those apprehensive that an assault will lead to death or cause grievous injury can also use the right. This is not the first time such messages are floating around on various media platforms. A similar word spread in 2013 too, only Modiâ€™s name was replaced by that of the previous government.
To understand how Section 100 works, read this story - She killed her ex- husband to save her family, how this TN woman has turned her life around