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Chhattisgarh News
Chhattisgarh withdraws police regulation on rape victim’s medical examination

Raipur: Following scathing criticism from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the BJP-led Chhattisgarh government has finally withdrawn its controversial police regulation making it mandatory for investigating officers to seek prior permission of SDM for conducting a medical examination on a rape victim.

The regulation, which was withdrawn on August 31 by the Director General of Police, AN Upadhyay, had been a major impediment to the investigators, as it often caused unusual delay in medical examination, sometimes even resulting in loss of valuable and sensitive evidence. The DGP’s order states that no prior permission would be required from SDM for medical examination of a rape victim and this is in accordance to the provisions of 164A CRPC and the Protection of children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The DG also stated that seeking prior permission from the SDM is a waste of time and delays examination, destroying evidence. The order states that these directions should be conveyed to all medical officers and police station in-charges for implementation.

The move comes barely two weeks after the NHRC, which is inquiring into the investigation conducted by the police in the sensational rape of a nun at Christ Sahaya Kendra, Raipur, Chhattisgarh on the 20th June, 2015, directed the state government to review this controversial provision in its police Act.

The NHRC directed the Chhattisgarh government to review the relevancy and justification of Chhattisgarh Police Regulation mandating the prior permission of executive magistrate for conducting medical examination of rape victim. The NHRC clearly stated that there is no such legal requirement of obtaining prior permission of SDM/executive magistrate under section 164A of CrPC.

Incidentally, the NHRC had found several shortcomings in the investigations conducted by the Chhattisgarh police in the nun's rape case and had even pulled up the Inspector General of Police, Raipur, for his statements doubting the victim by dubbing them ‘unwarranted’. The NHRC stated that the statement by the IGP exposed his “lack of sensitivity and understanding of victims' rights.”

The NHRC report on the police's investigation in the case states that the State Government took no relief and rehabilitation measures for the victim. It also states that though the local police registered a FIR in the matter, it failed to get the statement of the victim recorded before the Judicial Magistrate, as per the mandate of Section 164 [5(a)] of CrPC, besides it also did not invoke the proper penal sections in the case based on the victim's complaint.

NHRC had also directed the state government to sensitize and make aware the district administration about the 'Victim Compensation Scheme' and formulate a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on rape investigation containing recent guidelines of the Supreme Court and amendments in CrPC. The Commission had asked the government to submit an action taken report on its recommendation within eight weeks.