Police

Many times it is reported in news that victims of rape are harassed by the police and courts in India. If you become a Superintendent of Police, how will you treat rape and sexual molestation victims? Suggest measures that need to be taken to protect victims from harassment. (200 Words)

The crime of rape is a major problem in India, evident from the reports in the press as well as official statistics. The accused has often gone free, because victim did not file complaint or because of poor evidence gathering & well as lacunae in law.
If I become a Superintendent of Police, I will follow Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for Investigation of Rape Cases.
Registration of FIR-:
  1. As soon as information about such offence is received, FIR shall be recorded in accordance with the provisions of Section 154 CrPC.
  2. Investigation of the Rape case shall be conducted by a woman officer.
Handling of victim:
  1. The victim should be handled with utmost sympathy and sensitivity. The behaviour towards women victim should be courteous. No embarrassing or indecent questions should be put to her who is already under shock/trauma.
  2. The victim should be medically examined only by a lady doctor.
  3. The lady investigating officers should be very cautious while talking to the victim. NGOs can be of immense help in bringing-out the victim from trauma and preparing her to co-operate with the investigating agency.
Rehabilitation of the Victim:
  1. The female victim needs help in rehabilitation. The rehabilitation has to be in four folds, viz physical, mental, psychological and social
  2. The victim is likely to suffer social stigma and possible alienation from the family. Necessary counselling to her and her family members should be provided.
Handling of Media:
  1. Sex offences attract wide attention and arouse more public indignation than any other type of crime. While briefing media about sex crimes, identity of victim should not be disclosed. Victim should not be produced before media.
Trial:
  1. Charge sheet should be filed in the court within the limitation period i.e. 90 days after the arrest of the accused, as thereafter the accused may be let off on bail.
  2. During trial safety and security of the victim and witnesses should be ensured.
  3. Presence of witnesses should be ensured in the court as and when summoned.
Some suggestion to protect victims from harassment:
  1. Women police cells in the police stations and exclusive women police stations should be set up as needed.
  2. Police officials charged with the responsibility of protecting women should be sensitized adequately.
  3. Police personnel should be trained adequately in special laws dealing with atrocities against women. Enforcement should be emphasized adequately so as to streamline it.
  4. Women police officials in the State Police Force should be recruited widely.
  5. Close coordination between the police and the NGOs dealing with the interests of women may be ensured.
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  • Identify NGOs that deal with women related issues and take their help in rescue and rehabilitation of women.
  • Special focus on rape related cases vis online tracking system
  • Provision of security to victim
  • FIR in presence of family member or woman NGO worker. Women police officer to handle such case.