As per the amended law,the police is under legal obligation to get the statement of a rape victim recorded before a Judicial Magistrate as and when the victim approaches the police.
The salutary purpose behind is two fold. Firstly,the victims statement on affidavit recorded before the Judicial Magistrate is acceptable in evidence even if some harm is caused to the rape victim during the intervening period. Secondly,no external pressure on the rape victim would work,since her statement on affidavit stands already recorded before the Judicial Magistrate.
This amendment was brought into force from February 3 this year. Caring a hoot for the amended provisions,the Chandigarh Police has not taken the statement of even one of the rape victims who got their cases registered. As many as 14 cases were registered by the East division of Chandigarh Police,Sector 26 since February 3. This information was gathered under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by advocate H C Arora.
In none of the 14 cases the statements of rape victims have been recorded before a Judicial Magistrate. The information gathered reveals that February 3 onwards,two rape cases were registered at the Sector 19 police Station,five rape cases at Mani Majra police station,six at the Industrial Area police station and one case at Sector 26 police station in Chandigarh.
In these rape cases,the statements of the rape victims were recorded by SI Sucha Singh and SI Sukhchain Singh (in Sector 19 police station),SI Mohan Singh,SI Dharampal,SI Juldan Singh,ASI Harpal Singh and SI Om Parkash in Mani Majra police station cases.
The amended law also states that complaints by rape victims have to be recorded only by a woman police official. The objective behind this amendment was to ensure that the victim may not face humiliation due to the various awkward questions that may be put to her by male police officials.
Such errant police officials can be prosecuted against and punished with a minimum of six months imprisonment which may extend to two years.
I shall file a PIL in the High Court for seeking prosecution as well as disciplinary action against all such defaulting police officials, advocate Arora said.