- What is the new advisory?
- Problems in India
- Way Forward
Fighting Crimes Against Women
For IASToppers Video Summary Archive, Click Here
The Centre has issued a fresh advisory to states and Union Territories on mandatory action in cases of crimes against women. The detailed three-page advisory of the Home Ministry came days after the alleged gangrape and murder of a woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh sparked nationwide outrage.
What is the new advisory?
- The probe into rape cases must be completed within two months as per law.
- The dying declaration of a victim can’t be discarded merely because it has not been recorded by a magistrate.
- There should be compulsory registration of an FIR in case of a cognisable offence under the CrPC.
- The law also enables the police to register an FIR or a Zero FIR, in cases-
- Crime is committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station.
- In the event of receipt of the information on the commission of a cognisable offence, which includes cases of sexual assault on women.
- Any lapses need to be investigated into and stringent action is taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the same.
- The Section 173 of CrPC provides for completion of the police investigation in relation to rape in two months.
- The Section 164-A of CrPC provides that in rape or sexual assault investigation.
- The victim should be examined by a registered medical practitioner under consent within 24 hours from the time of receiving the information relating to the commission of such offence.
Problems in India:
- FIRs are not filed in time, unnecessary questions asked to the victim.
- With many legal provisions India is still an extremely women unfriendly country.
- Can’t expect an immediate change but at least the lackadaisical attitude will change after this directive.
- Even today things are as bad as 25 years ago, with the cult of masculinity still prevailing.
- The country treat atrocities & crimes against women as very trivial and they are not priorities of any police organization.
- Many cases FIRs not even registered even though SC verdict in Lalitha Kumari Case is clear that FIR in cases of cognizable offence must be registered.
- The possible reasons behind this are- Minimization of statistics of crime or to cover up the crime.
- Police doesn’t want to be seen in bad light like they were unable to prevent crimes.
- The country and the media houses discuss the crime & punishment only after the incident and our conversation doesn’t go to prevention.
- Conversations on this issue need to happen not just after commission of such heinous crimes but even without them so that these very crimes can be prevented.
- India should focus on steps on practical level to ensure that fewer crimes are committed, For eg: More patrolling and More street lights.
- Creating safer street culture by ensuring lesser streets are deserted.
- The prevention of the crimes requires a cultural shift as well as most crimes still happen within the confines of homes & victims are raped by people they know well like relatives/friends.
- Most of these crimes don’t even make it to statistics.
- This requires an open social & cultural condemnation of the overt masculinity that is still prevalent in our country.
- This needs for shifting the blame away from the victim & standing by her should be given the benefit of doubt.
- Rape mostly a case of display of power and less about sex/caste/religion — victims need to be empowered.
- The family and at least mothers & other women need to stand by the victim rather than blaming them.
- This requires educating children and brainwashing them to make sure they know that women are equal to men & deserve equal respect.
- Police officers should be incentivised by rewarding good cops who ensure justice to the victims & the ones that do not do their duty should be shamed & punished under IPC section 166a.
- We need to strengthening the police system and the establish the forensic apparatus.
- We need to create a culture of prevention and parents should be held equally responsible or accountable for their child’s behaviour.
- Every district needs to have an easily accessible & competent forensic lab and needs to build criminal intelligence.
- All the stakeholders need to get their act together, including Law makers, police officers, forensic dept, prosecutors, judiciary, medical & health dept, NGOs, rehabilitation centers.
- Mere framing of stringent provisions in law are not sufficient, but the problem requires several capacity-building measures with unfailing attitude of police to adhere to these mandatory requirements, in order to deliver criminal justice in the country.
- While policing reforms, & criminal reforms are important in ensuring prevention & justice, they can’t be seen as a silver bullet, crime against women cannot be resolved in the court of law alone. A holistic approach & changing the entire ecosystem is what is required to ensure women safety.