Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Will Mumbai Police Follow New Rules Regarding Sexual Offences Against Women And Children?

In a latest special police circular released on 12 Aug (circular no. 27/2013) related to sexual offences against children and women following are the updates:
-       Sexual harassment, abuse or offence case against a boy or a girl of 18 or less is to be filed under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
-       The same for a woman who is above 18 is to be registered under Indian Penal Code under sections 354/A/B/C/D, 376/A/B/C/D/E and 509.
-       It is not mandatory for a victim to file the FIR. The incident can be reported by any person. Police must record the FIR the moment an incident is reported without waiting for the aggrieved to appear.
-       If victim or aggrieved appears in person to report the incidence, FIR must be recorded/ registered by a woman police office and in absence of a woman police officer it has to be done by any woman office.
-       If the victim is mentally or physically disabled (temporarily or permanently), who has to report about an incident with her or an attempt of an offence, she does not need to come to police station to get an FIR recorded. Instead a police officer is required to reach at the location where victim is available to register FIR along with an interpreter or a special counselor/ educator.
-       The copy of FIR is to be provided instantly, the moment an incident is reported. There is no cost to be incurred by victim or informant to get a copy of FIR.
-       Any police officer, who refuses or delays in registering an FIR for such incidents, is severely punishable under IPC Section 166A (c).
-       Even if the incident has not happened in the jurisdiction of a police station where the incident is being reported, refusal to register an FIR by a police officer there is again against law. A Zero FIR is to be registered there and then only and must be immediately transferred to the relevant police station that covers the area where incident has happened.
-       Victim must be provided first aid and medical assistance/ treatment without any charges by all public and private hospitals where the victim has been taken post offence.
-       Medical examination of the reported victim is to conducted within 24 hours of the reporting of offence/ incident by a registered medical practitioner.
-       Victim’s statement is to be recorded at her residence or any other place of her comfort in presence of her parents/ guardians/ relatives/ local social reformers/ known person. The recording is to be done by a woman police officer or any woman office.
-       In case of a mentally or physically disabled child victim, in addition to above, presence of a special educator or a person with whom the child can communicate comfortably. Experts and professionals in this field can be approached by police for assistance in such cases.

-       In case of a child victim, the woman police officer has not to be in uniform and ensure that accused is not around the victim.
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