Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 10
Amid raging controversy around recent crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras and a few other states in the country, the Centre has issued an advisory to all states and Union Territories (UTs) directing them for “mandatory” police action in such cases with compulsory registration of First Information Report (FIR) and that investigations should be completed within two months of reporting of a case.
In the advisory issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), it has further warned that any failure on the part of the police to adhere to the mandatory requirements in crime against women “will be inquired and necessary action will be taken immediately against the officers responsible for the lapses”.
The advisory, a copy of which is with The Tribune, reads: “It is requested that states and UTs may suitably issue instructions to all concerned to ensure strict compliance with the provisions in the law relating to crime against women.”
The states and the UTs have also been asked to monitor the cases on the Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) to ensure that suitable follow-up action is taken on the charge sheet of the alleged guilty in a timely manner as required in the law.
The Ministry issued the advisory on Friday — days after a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped by four men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras leading to her death and also such crimes were reported in Jharkhand and Rajasthan, and other states leading to widespread protest and political outcry.
In the advisory, the Ministry referred to its May 16, 2019 advisory on a “failure to record information under sub-section (1) of Section 154 of the CrPC punishable under Section 166-A of the IPC”. The MHA also took reference to another advisory dated December 5, 2019 regarding timely and proactive action by the police in cases of crimes against women.
The MHA has also mentioned Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the investigation and prosecution of rape against women issued by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, which also pointed regarding distribution of the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits to states and UTs.