The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a letter/notification to all the Chief Secretaries/ Advisors to Administrators, regarding measures to be adopted for investigating in crimes against women.
The Contents of the letter/notification is as follows:-
- The letter referred to various steps that have been taken by the Government of India to strengthen legislative provisions that deal with women safety. The letter also reiterates various advisories which states that strict action should be taken in cases of crime against women.
- Further the letter states that registration of FIR should be done in cases of crime against women, forensic evidence should be collected by using Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kit, investigation in cases of sexual assault should be completed within two months, National Database on Sexual Offenders should be used to identify and track repeat sexual offenders.
- Registration of FIR is compulsory in case of offences committed under subsection (1) of section 154 CrPc. It was also stated that Police could register “ Zero FIR” if a crime is committed outside their jurisdiction.
- It was also mentioned that action could be taken against a public servant under provisions of Section 166 A(c) of IPC if they fail to record FIR in cases where a crime is committed against women.
- Investigations in a rape case should be completed within two months. Police authorities can use the Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) to ensure that the investigation is completed within time.
- A reference was made to Section 164-A of CrPC that provides that in cases of rape/sexual assault the victim should be examined by a registered medical practitioner within 24 hours from the time the incident was reported.
- It was also stated that a statement given by a dying person should be treated as a relevant fact if the statement relates to the cause of his death or circumstances that led to the person’s death. A reference was made to the Supreme Court’s judgment in Purshottam Chopra & Anr. V. State (Govt. of NCT Delhi) where it was held that dying declaration of a person satisfies all the requirements of judicial scrutiny, cannot be discarded merely because a Magistrate has not recorded it or that the police officer did not obtain attestation by any person present at the time of the making of the statement.
- The letter also states that the Directorate of Forensic Science Services (DFSS) has issued guidelines for preservation, transportation, and collection of forensic evidence in cases of sexual assault. To held the police Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) Kits have been provided in every state and union territory, and it is mandatory to use them in every case of sexual assault/ rape. It was also stated that the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences is regularly conducting training for police personnel to apprise them of procedure for collection, preservation and handling of forensic evidence for Police/Prosecutors and Medical Officers respectively.
- The letter states that if the Police fail to follow the procedure and measures in cases of crime against women, then strict action will be taken against them.
All the states and union territories were directed to ensure that all the measures mentioned in the letter should be strictly followed and the investigations in cases of crime against women should be completed in a timely manner.