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government has finally withdrawn its controversial police regulation making it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was withdrawn on August 31 by the Director General of Police, AN Upadhyay, had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
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.