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.