Guwahati: The ministry of home affairs on Saturday directed all states and Union territories to strictly enforce laws and guidelines relating to sexual assault on women and take stringent action against officers responsible for lapses.
The directive comes amid criticism of the Uttar Pradesh police for its handling of the Hathras case. The police has drawn flake for allegedly intimidating the kin of the deceased, refused to hand over the body of the victim to the family, and collecting forensic samples 11 days after crime.
As per the order of the Union Government, all the states are required to register an FIR, collection of evidence for forensic examination and use of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kit, completion of investigation in sexual assault cases in two months, use of National Database on Sexual offenders for identifying and tracking repeat sexual offenders etc.
The ministry has recently has distributed SAEC kits to states for better investigations of sexual crimes through forensic evidence.
In case the crime is committed outside the jurisdiction of a police station, the victim can file a “Zero FIR”.
However, 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 n the context of women safety.