Rape laws need changes

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - ( The au­thor is a former bu­reau­crat and ad­vo­cate)

For the po­lice, who do not in­ves­ti­gate the case with due dili­gence or vi­o­late the due pro­ce­dures of rape in­ves­ti­ga­tion, or at­tempt to sup­press a case, such an of­fi­cer be dis­missed from ser­vice and si­mul­ta­ne­ously pros­e­cuted for help­ing an ac­cused. Spe­cific sec­tion in this re­spect be added to the In­dian Pe­nal Code, 1860.

In­tel­li­gence must be gath­ered to find out rape cases go­ing un­re­ported. If the vic­tim avoids lodg­ing a com­plaint, then the po­lice should lodge a com­plaint on be­half of the State af­ter tak­ing due pre­cau­tion to con­ceal the iden­tity of the vic­tim.

If the rape vic­tim vol­un­teers to come for­ward and re­veal her name, then the stip­u­la­tion of se­crecy in the press and the trial be done away with. Nec­es­sary changes could be made in the Press Coun­cil guide­lines and also the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Code in this re­spect. This shall kill in­hi­bi­tions of many a woman to re­frain from re­port­ing cases of sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Again, if death re­sults as a con­se­quence of rape, then an in- cam­era trial be done away with since open tri­als are greater de­ter­rents to other of­fend­ers.

In sum, if three or­gans of Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Sys­tem – the po­lice, the courts and the leg­is­la­ture work to­gether, then things can in­deed change.

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