CLAIM: Modi government passed Indian Penal Code 233 which says that a woman won’t be punished if she kills the man who raped her.
FACT: False. No such law has been passed by the Modi government.
This message has been circulating on WhatsApp in the aftermath of Kathua and Unnao rape cases. The same message of IPC 233 protecting women for killing the rapist had taken rounds after the Delhi rape case in 2012. It has been debunked in the past by Newsminute and SM Hoax Slayer.
The message however does not stop there. It goes on to give tips to women on how to tackle situations when women could feel unsafe (Screenshots of the whole message is provided at the end of the story).
Here is why the WhatsApp forward is just a rumour.
1) The previous parliament session between January 29 to April 6, 2018 which was recorded as the least productive budget session since 2000, has not passed any such bill. Of all the 72 bills (pending and newly introduced) which was on the agenda, only 4 have been passed. No such bill that protects women from murder charges upon killing their rapists was ever on the agenda either. Click here to know the list of bills introduced and passed by the parliament.
2) IPC 233 is neither an anti-rape law nor distantly related to rape. It covers the non-bailable crime of ‘making or selling instrument for counterfeiting coin’ and offers a punishment of imprisonment for 3 years and fine.
3) The Indian law does not have an exclusive IPC section that enables women to kill rapists.
However, Indian law provides for cases in which a person can exercise their right to self-defence in circumstances of grave danger. IPC sections 96 -106 defines the terms of how a person can exercise the right to self defence.
Under section 100, it is not an offence if a person causes death of his / her assailant when the latter’s assault intends to cause death, grievous hurt, rape, gratify unnatural lust, kidnap and wrongful confinement.
This means that the law identifies an individual’s right of private defence in certain cases of grave danger. However, this provision is not exclusive to women and cases of rape.
Screenshot from Indiakanoon.org
Maneka Gandhi, Women and Child Development Minister, expressed the need for death penalty for rape of children (below the age of 12). Madhya Pradesh state assembly has already passed a bill for the same and it will become a law in the state upon the President’s approval.
The whole WhatsApp message is as shown below.