The Delhi Police officials who refused to register a complaint of the five year-old rape victim’s parents may have to spend two years in jail if found guilty by a court, states the new anti-rape law.
The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act, which was approved by the President on April 3, following its passage in Parliament last month, treats refusal to record a complaint in any case of sexual assault and violence against women a criminal offence. The new provisions in the IPC and the CrPC make it mandatory for the police to record any information provided to them in cases of “acid attack, outraging the modesty, trafficking and all forms of sexual assault.”
The new clause added in Section 166 IPC, states: “Any public servant who fails to record any information given to him in a police station relating to the commission of a cognisable offence which amounts to sexual assault and violence against women shall be punished with a maximum jail term of two years and be liable to pay a fine.”
To remove any hurdles in the way of enforcing this section, the new law further makes it clear through an explanation inserted in the criminal law, which reads: “For removal of doubts, a sub-section is being added in section 197 CrPC, to hereby declare that no sanction shall be required in case of a public servant accused of any offence alleged to have to been committed, which amounts to sexual violence and assault against women.”
A senior government official said this provision was added in criminal law on the Justice JS Verma panel’s recommendations. The panel had received a large number of representations from women organisations about the lack of sensitivity in the police force in dealing with complaints of women.
Given the growing demands to make the anti-rape law more stringent in the aftermath of the brutal rape, this is the first real test being faced by the updated law about its effective implementation on the ground.