MHA issues advisory to states on women safety amid criticism over Hathras probe

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory to States and Union Territories for ensuring mandatory action by police in cases of crime against women.

Shivani Arora
Published on: 10 Oct 2020 8:25 AM GMT
Amit Shah
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In a fresh advisory to states, the Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday directed the police to strictly adhere to guidelines. Also, adopt stringent action while dealing with cases related to crimes against women.

The directive comes amid criticism of the Uttar Pradesh police for its handling of the Hathras case. The police has drawn flak for allegedly intimidating the kin of the deceased, refusing to hand over the body of the victim to the family, and collecting forensic samples 11 days after the crime.

MHA:

“It is 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 chargesheet of the guilty in a timely manner as required in the law,” the MHA said.

It said the government has over the years taken steps to strengthen the legislative provisions to deal with such cases.

“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 context of women safety. Such lapses, if noticed, need to be investigated into and stringent action taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the same,” it said.

ALSO READ: Hathras: ‘Victim’s family killed her’, Four accused write to SP

FIRs:

Explaining the guidelines and laws enacted to probe cases of sexual offences. The MHA told states to ensure mandatory registration of FIRs. Also, take action against officers who refuse to register an FIR in cases of rape and other crimes against women.

It also asked the police to treat the dying declaration of the victim as a matter of fact; ensure collection of evidence for forensic examination; use of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kit; ensure completion of investigation of such cases within two months; and use of National Database on Sexual Offenders to identify and track repeat offenders.

The ministry had recently distributed SAEC kits to states for better investigations of sexual crimes through forensic evidence.

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Shivani Arora

Shivani Arora

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