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Centre draws new roadmap to boost women's safety
Zero FIR, dying declaration, probe in 2 months a must
New Delhi: Amid rising cases of crimes against women in the country and the uproar over the Hathras gangrape and murder, the Centre has issued a fresh advisory to states and UTs reiterating existing guidelines on women's safety.
In the advisory, the Ministry of Home Affairs said action must be taken by the police in cases of crimes against women, adding probe into rape cases must be completed within two months as per law and that dying declaration of a victim can't be discarded merely because it has not been recorded by a magistrate.
The detailed three-page advisory came days after the gangrape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit woman at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, which sparked nationwide outrage. The MHA said there should be compulsory registration of an FIR in case of a cognisable offence under the CrPC, and any failure of the police to adhere to laid-down rules does not augur well for the delivery of justice. The law also enables the police to register an FIR or a "Zero FIR", in case the crime is committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station, in the event of receipt of the information on the commission of a cognisable offence, which includes cases of sexual assault on women, the ministry said.
"However, even with stringent provisions in law and several capacity-building measures undertaken, any failure of police to adhere to these mandatory requirements may not augur well for the delivery of criminal justice in the country, especially in the context of women safety," it said. "Such lapses, if noticed, need to be investigated into and stringent action taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the same," the advisory to states and Union Territory administrations said.
States and Union Territories have also been requested to monitor cases on Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offenses (ITSSO) to ensure that appropriate action is taken on the charge sheet in a time bound manner as required by law.