NHRC exposes several loop holes in the handling of the Nun rape case in Chhattisgarh
NHRC exposes several loop holes in the handling of the Nun rape case in Chhattisgarh: Calls for action taken report from Chief Secretary, DGP and SP, Raipur on specific issues (20.8.2015)
New Delhi, 20th August, 2015
The National Human Rights Commission has found several deficiencies in the investigation of the case related to the rape of a Nun at Christ Sahaya Kendra, Raipur, Chhattisgarh on the 20th June, 2015 and that the alleged culprits are yet to be caught. It also found that no relief and rehabilitation measures were taken for the victim by the State Government.
It has held that the hasty and irresponsible statements, doubting the statement of the victim, issued by the Inspector General of Police, Raipur in media were totally unwarranted and exposed lack of sensitivity and understanding of victims’ rights.
The Commission has directed that the Superintendent of Police, Raipur, Director General of Police and Chief Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh take action on the specific points as recommended and submit the action taken report within six weeks.
The Commission’s directions have come following the enquiry report of its investigation team, which found that though the local police registered an FIR in the matter but failed to get the statement of the victim recorded before the Judicial Magistrate, as per the mandate of Section 164 [5(a)] of Cr.P.C. It also pointed out that proper penal Sections based on the allegations, leveled by the complainant in her complaint to the police, were not invoked while registering the case by police.
Further, the local police, in absence of a protocol or a procedure, did not take any measures to secure the scene of crime nor it took blood, urine or other body fluid samples to find out the nature and composition of pills alleged to have been popped up in the mouth of the victim by her assailants. There was an oversight at the time of carrying out seizure of personal clothing of the victim. She was not provided any legal aid or psychological counseling in accordance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court.
In view of these observations and the other related deficiencies in the action required to be taken by the local police, the Commission has recommended that the Chief Secretary of Government of Chhattisgarh to take action on the following:
a. Sensitize and make aware the district administration about the ‘Victim Compensation Scheme’ so that scheme is properly implemented at ground level, which is necessary in view of the legal mandate under Section 357A of Cr.P.C., Supreme Court Guidelines and notification issued under “Victim Compensation Scheme”.
b. Review the relevancy and justification of Chhattisgarh Police Regulation mandating the prior permission of executive magistrate for conducting medical examination of rape victim. Moreover, there is no such legal requirement of obtaining prior permission of SDM/executive magistrate under section 164A of Cr.P.C.
The DGP, Chhattisgarh is directed to:-
a. Formulate a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on rape investigation containing recent guidelines of the Supreme Court and amendments in Cr.P.C.
b. Frame media policy and sensitize police officer about media handling and making statement before the press.
c. Initiate measures to collaborate with some agencies/ institutions/ organizations to provide psychological counselling to the victims of sexual assault in accordance with the guidelines issued by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Dilip Vs. State of MP case. This would facilitate the victim in overcoming the mental trauma.
d. Collaborate with State Women Commission and District Legal Service Authority to provide legal aid/counselling to the rape victims.
e. Formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP) on protection of scene of crime.
The SP, Raipur is directed to:-
c. Get the statement of victim/survivor recorded before the judicial magistrate under section 164 Cr.P.C at the earliest.
b. Amend and apply proper penal Sections of IPC in the FIR.
c. Make more sincere and committed efforts to apprehend the culprits at the earliest.
d. Sensitize the staff about rights of the rape victim and not to take those measures that may amount undue harassment or cause mental distress considering the emotional state of victims.
e. Initiate steps to facilitate grant of monetary compensation to the victim/survivor in accordance with the provisions of ‘Victim Compensation Scheme-2011’ and furnish a detailed action taken report and progress made in investigation of FIR 150/15 PS Pandri, Raipur.
The Commission had registered a case No. 532/33/14/2015-WC on the basis of a complaint dated 7th July, 2015 and a subsequent complaint was also clubbed with the same. It had directed its Investigation Division to conduct an on-the-spot enquiry in the matter and also issued notices to the State authorities.
In response to the notices issued to the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Government of Chhattisgarh and Superintendent of Police, Raipur, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (SC Welfare) and Deputy Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Chhattisgarh responded with the report of SP, Raipur that a case was registered against the two accused on the 20th June, 2015 and the victim was not troubled in any manner.