5 Dec 2013

Recommendations of the Conference of Chief Secretaries and DGsP

Death for rape
The conference of the Chief Secretaries and Director Generals Police held in New Delhi on January 04,2013 has suggested increase in punishment for gang rape, setting up of Fast Track Courts, National data base for sexual offenders and amendments to Cr PC, IPC and Juvenile Justice Act. 

The conference also came out with the suggestions for gender sensitization of police force, more recruitment of women in police, deployment of women police in every Police Station, single help line for women across the country, strengthening of forensic capabilities and community Policing. 

Some of the important suggestions made by the participants at the conference are as follows: 

CRIME PREVENTION 
Prevention is most important. There should be zero tolerance for petty offences as the offender can escalate in the crime ladder and especially for cases u/s 509. Community policing should be introduced. National data base of sexual offenders should be initiated. Preventive sections of Cr PC should be used more and coordination between police and citizens needs to be ensured. 

CHANGES IN LAW 
Cr PC needs to be amended to aim at speedy trials. Section 509 of IPC needs to be amended. When there is presumption of offence having been committed, discretion in grant of bail should be done away with. Punishment for gang rape should be higher. Amendment to Juvenile Justice Act to lower the age to 16 years and grading based on the magnitude of offence is necessary. Placement agencies need to be brought under law. 

ORGANISATION 
Accountability of police is essential. Gender sensitization to be made a part of the curriculum, if not done in Police Training Schools and Colleges. Awareness programmes are necessary. Expansion of civil Police is necessary and reluctance of women to join should be reduced by reserving posts for them in Police. Dy. SP should be the nodal officer for crime against women in every district. One Addl. DG of Police should be designated as nodal officer in every state. 

WOMEN SAFETY 
There is a need to increase the number of response vehicles (PCR) and Women PCRs could be started. Mahila help desk need to be established if not done in all Police Stations. Women help line should be toll free. Security of women in the trains should be ensured. GPS system should be fixed in transport buses. There should be single helpline number across the country. More women Police Stations need to be opened. Care centers for women who have no place to go at night should be started with the help of NGOs. 

INVESTIGATION PROCESS 
Investigation process is delayed mainly because of delay in forensic science reports and hence forensic capabilities needs to be strengthened. There is need for more Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigation. Depending on the crime, investigation should be completed within 30 to 90 days and a time frame for filing charge sheet should be defined. Prosecution needs to be supported. Cases need to be registered as and when women reach a Police Station. Recording of information should be only by women and if necessary by audio/video recording. Medical practitioner who examines a rape victim must be a woman. Police protection for the victim till the trial ends should be given. 

TRIAL 
Fast Track courts are necessary and need to be supported. Court procedure should prevent humiliation of the victim and character assassination must be stopped. There should be no adjournments once trial starts with day to day hearing. Rights of the victims should be defined. Judges and prosecutors should be women. Discretion in grant of bail for heinous offences should be removed. Prosecutor should be of the choice of the victim. 

The one day conference was attended by Union Home Minister Shri Sushilkumar Shinde, Union Women & Child Development Minister Smt. Krishna Tirath, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Kumari Selja, Union Ministers of State for Home Shri RPN Singh and Shri M Ramachandran and senior officers from the Center and State Governments. 

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