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Rape trial on fast track

Rape trial on fast track

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 12:50 IST

Police can no longer take forever to investigate rape cases. They will have to complete their probe within three months and file the chargesheet in court. This is one of the key amendments the home ministry wants in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Ministry officials discussed the issue of delayed rape investigations and agreed it should be mandatory for the police to complete the probe within a specified time. As of now, there is no deadline. The ministry will have to make an amendment in section 157 of the CrPC (Procedure for Investigation) for which a Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament’s next session, starting May 10.

The ministry plans to bring in some more changes to the CrPC. Rape trials will have to be supervised by a woman judge. If the trial court doesn't have a woman judge, it can transfer the case to another court after informing the state high court and investigating agency.

The victim won’t be asked to come to a police station to record her statement. A woman officer, at least of the rank of sub-inspector, will go to the victim's house. In case of a minor victim, the statement will be recorded in the presence of at least two women family members.

“There is a feeling the police have not been sensitised enough. Not only are investigations faulty, often the victim isn't comfortable giving details of the incident to a male police officer,” a senior official said.

On fast track courts, officials said this was for the judiciary to decide. But the ministry plans to write to all high courts requesting that fast track courts be set up.