Crime against Women: MHA provides advisory for establishing compulsory action by police

Strict laws to be implemented related to sexual harassment of women

On Saturday, The Ministry of Home Affairs instructed all states and Union territories to impose strict laws and guidelines regarding the increasing rape cases against women. It also asked to take firm actions against officers responsible for failure.

The MHA statement said, "Any lapses, if noticed, need to be investigated and stringent actions are taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the same."

According to the Union government, all the states are obligated to register an FIR, collect evidence for forensic examination and use the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kit, complete investigation in sexual assault cases in two months, use National Database on Sexual Offenders to identify and track perpetrators of crime, etc. If the crime takes place outside the jurisdiction of a police station, the victim can file a "Zero FIR".

Any failure of police to abide by these mandatory requirements despite the strict provisions, may not bode well for the delivery of criminal justice in India, especially with reference to woman safety, it said.

The government's order arrives when the Uttar Pradesh government is facing criticism from opposition parties and activists for its careless investigation into the gang-rape and death of a 19-year old girl in Hathras.

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