As the Chandigarh Police come under fire for not following the law that only woman cops are to record statements of rape victims, the department has sought to pass the buck to the complainants and the judicial magistrate.
Information procured by advocate HC Arora underlines how the UT police are not following the amended provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Ht had reported the matter around a week ago and also how the Police Complaints Authority had indicted three cops for the violation in a particular case registered in Sector 3. Arora cites three similar cases at the same police station, about which he got information.
In one of these cases, the UT police's central public information officer, deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Ashish Kapoor in a reply by the station house officer (SHO), Sector 11, Gurmukh Singh, passed buck to the judicial magistrate for not recording the statement of rape victims. He did not give individual details of cases but the SHO stated that "complainant (s) did not co-operate for recording their statements before the Judicial Magistrate".
Arora said that in a communiqué on September 14, the DSP, while disclosing the information compiled by him, enclosed information of three FIRs registered in Sector 3 since February. The DSP has stated that "the statement under Section 164 (5-A [a]) of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 of rape victim on affidavit to be recorded before the concerned Judicial Magistrate could not be recorded because in one case the complainant did not join the investigation after registration of case".
The RTI information highlights that in all three cases, the statement of the victims was recorded by male police officers.
In the first incident, a case was registered on February 25 and sub-inspector Arvind Kumar recorded the statement. The second rape case was registered on May 6 and SI Balbir Singh recorded the statement.The third case was registered on July 9 and statement was recorded by SI Arvind Kumar.
As per section 154 (3) of the CrPC, the SHO can requisition (borrow) a woman police officer from the adjoining police station with the permission of the DSP to record the statement.
"The SSP and DSPs are responsible for making the subordinate police officials aware of the requirement of the newly incorporated provisions of CrPC. Also, section 166A of the Indian Penal Code now lays down that violation of the procedure laid down in the CrPC is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months to two years," added Arora.
Naunihal Singh, UT SSP, said, "It's our constant endeavour that woman-related crime should be dealt by woman cops. However, in view of the acute shortage of female staff, the responsibility is shared. As for the recent amendments in the law, standing instructions have been issued to all police stations to abide by them. If there is any lapse reported in any case, I will review it and responsibility will be fixed.