In the wake of the gruesome rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad, a message has been circulated widely on WhatsApp, according to which a new law has been brought into effect by the Modi government for the safety of women- section 233 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
This ‘new’ provision supposedly ensures the right to self-defence for women. The viral message states, “If a girl is suspected to be raped or getting raped, then she has the supreme right to kill the man, or harm that person as dangerously and girl won’t be blamed for murder.” The message then suggests various measures for women who are caught in risky situations, and exhorts readers to share it widely.
Here is the complete message – “Finally a new law passed . 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, or harm that person as dangerously and girl won’t be blamed for murder. Tell as many as you can its your power create awareness. Share this as many as you can1. What should a woman do if she finds herself alone in the company of a strange male as she prepares to enter a lift in a High Rise apartment late at night …?????Experts Say : Enter the lift ……… If you need to reach the 13th floor, press all the buttons up to your destination. No one will dare attack you in a lift that stops on every floor.2. What to do if a stranger tries to attack you when you are alone in your house, run into the kitchen.Experts Say : You alone know where the chili powder and turmeric are kept. And where the knives and plates are. All these can be turned into deadly weapons. If nothing else, start throwing plates and utensils all over. Let them break. Scream… Remember that noise is the greatest enemy of a molester. He does not want to be caught.3. Taking an Auto or Taxi at Night.Experts Say : Before getting into an auto at night, note down its registration number. Then use the mobile to call your family or friend and pass on the details to them in the language the driver understands. Even if no one answers your call, pretend you are in a conversation. The driver now knows someone has his details and he will be in serious trouble if anything goes wrong. He is now bound to take you home safe and sound. A potential attacker is now your de facto protector.4. What if the driver turns into a street he is not supposed too and you feel you are entering a danger zone …Experts Say : Use the handle of your purse or your stole (dupatta) to wrap around his neck and pull him back. Within seconds, he will feel choked and helpless. In case you don’t have a purse or stole just pull him back by his collar. The top button of his shirt would then do the same trick.5. If you are stalked at night …Expert Say : enter a shop or a house and explain your predicament. If it is night and shops are not open, go inside an ATM box. ATM centers always have close circuit television. Fearing identification, no one will dare attack you.After all, being mentally alert is the greatest weapon you can ever have.Please spread it to all those women u care & spread awareness as this is the least we can do for a social & moral cause and for the safety of our women.Guys please forward it to your MOMS … SISTERS … WIVES and female FRIENDS …… Better safe than sorry friends. Plzz frwrd to all GIRLS u know…..To All the WOMEN”
VIRAL SINCE 2012
Droidtips found a Facebook post which confirmed this message had circulated earlier as well. The earliest instance that we found dates back to 2012.
FACT CHECK: FALSE CLAIM
The claim contained in the WhatsApp forward and the Facebook post is false. This is because Section 233 of the IPC in no way pertains to self-defence of the individual. The section instead refers to punishment for counterfeiting coins.
PROVISION UNDER IPC FOR SELF-DEFENCE
Sections 96 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code pertain to the right of self-defence of the individual. Section 96 states, “Things done in private defence.—Nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence.” Section 100 of the IPC is specific, and provides for self-defence which may amount to causing the death of the assailant if it is an assault “with the intention of committing rape”.
The Indian Penal Code is the official criminal code of India. Aimed at encompassing all aspects of criminal law, the draft of the IPC was prepared for the first time in 1834 by the First Law Commission, which was established under the Charter Act of 1833. The code was finally enacted in 1860 and since then, has been amended numerous times. It may however be noted that Sections 96-106 (Right of private defence)formed part of the Indian Penal Code in 1860, and are not an interpolation.
Moreover, Droid Tips could not find a single news report on this supposed move by the Modi government on enacting a new law on self-defence to combat crimes against women. The social media claim is false. This was earlier fact-checked by The News Minute.