New Delhi, October 10: Amid increasing the crimes against the women day by day, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new orders for states and Union Territories on the safety of women and ordered police to strictly adhere to guidelines and stringent action against those perpetrating crimes against women. It also asked states and UTs to enforce all relevant laws and guidelines in cases of crimes against women.
According to the release MHA said, "there should be compulsory registration of an FIR in case of a cognisable offense under the CrPC. The law also enables the police to register FIR or a 'Zero FIR' (in case the crime is committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station) in the event of receipt of the information on the commission of a cognizable offense, which includes cases of sexual assault on women. "
However, even with stringent provisions in law and several capacity-building measures undertaken, any failure of police to adhere to these mandatory requirements may not augur well for the delivery of criminal justice in the country, especially in the context of women's safety. Such lapses, if noticed, need to be investigated into and stringent action taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the same.
It also says that is any failure of police to adhere to these mandatory requirements may not augur well for the delivery of criminal justice in the country, especially in the context of women's safety.
It also released the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Investigation and Prosecution of Rape against Women issued by BPR&D. They issued Guidelines for collection, preservation & transportation of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases for Investigation Officers and Medical Officers. In which to facilitate the State Police, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) has issued Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) Kits to every State/UT.
The advisory further added that "it is necessary to use these SAEC kits in every case of sexual assault reported. MHA advisory dated 5th October 2020 in this matter may be referred. BPR&D and LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (NICFS) have been regularly conducting Training and Training of Trainers (ToT) programs on the procedure for collection, preservation, and handling of forensic evidence for Police/Prosecutors and Medical Officers respectively."
It mandated punishment in case an official fails to file an FIR in relation to cognizable offenses. “Section 166 A(c) of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) provides for punishment to a public servant for failure to record FIR in relation to cognizable offences punishable under section 326A, Section 326B, Section 354, Section 354B, Section 370, Section 370A, Section 376, Section 376A, Section 376AB, Section 376B, Section 376C, Section 376D, Section 376DA, Section 376DB, Section 376E or Section 509 in IPC,” it stated in the advisory.
In the last, the MHA requested that states/UTs may suitably issue instructions to all concerned to ensure strict compliance with the provisions in the law. It is also requested to monitor the cases on the Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) to ensure that suitable follow up action is taken for charge sheet of the guilty in a timely manner as required in the law.