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Position Of Rape Victim Under Criminal Justice System Of India: A Critical Analysis Study

And all of a sudden I felt really tired. Like the world has drained me for everything that I had" clearly describes the unheard sufferings of a person who had been a victim of rape. India being the largest democracy in the world also stands third in terms of rape incidents after United States of America and Brazil. In the year 2018, about 94000 rapes were filed in India according to the National Crime Bureau' annual report. The report clearly means that every fifteen minute a rape case has been committed in India and still many cases in India remain unheard and unregistered.

Meaning of Rape

Rape if in simplest of term explained is a type of sexual assault involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without their consent┬╣. Rape can occur by coercion, abuse or when the person is incapable of giving a valid consent on grounds of intoxication, disability and many more.

Rape is a heinous crime that has been stated offensive and punishable under the Indian Penal code of 1860. The Indian Penal Code along with Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act etc. have stated down various rights that are available for the rape survivors of the country.

There are six most important rights which are as follows:
Six most important rights of the rape survivors:
  1. Right to zero FIR
    Right to zero FIR means that FIR can be filed in any police station of India irrespective of the jurisdiction and later that same FIR can be transferred to the concerned police station. This concept of Right to Zero FIR was introduced after the Nirbhaya Rape Case of Delhi by the committee of Justice Verma.

    For e.g. if a person is raped in Mumbai and he /she lives in Bhopal. The FIR can be registered in any of the places and would later be transferred to the concerned jurisdiction. The Ministry of Home Affairs had also introduced Advisory Circular dated 10-05-2013 of Home Affairs for Zero FIR.

    The concept of Zero FIR has been recognised in many cases such as in the case of Kirti Vashisht vs the State of Ors, the High court of Delhi accepted the concept of Zero FIR and directed that the FIR should be registered without any delay and in any police station.

    Another case of Lalita Kumari vs the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme court clearly stated that the FIR can be registered in any police station under section 154 of Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 and if any police officer fails to do so shall be punished for the same for a rigorous punishment for 6 months or a fine or both under Section 166A of the Indian Penal code of 1860.
  2. Free medical treatment in any private hospital
    According to Section 357C of Code of Criminal Procedure, no hospital whether government or private can charge a rape survivor for its treatment. A person who has been a victim of rape has the right to get free medical treatment in any hospital whether government or private in any part of the country. Any hospital or medical institution demanding fee for such medical treatment would face liability for carrying out such offence.
  3. No two-finger test during medical examination
    Section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure clearly demonstrates the methods and the provisions that have to be used while making such reports. Further no doctor possess the right to do a two finger test of a rape victim.

    In the case of Lillu alias Rajesh and another vs the State of Harayana, the Supreme Court itself was against the two finger test and identified the test as humiliating, and which attacks the mental integrity and dignity of a person.

    The only job in such cases for a doctor is to check whether the victim was actually raped or not, if there is any injury or not or other things related to the case. In cases of rape only a female doctor is entitled to carry out such examination. In case of a male doctor, he has to take a written consent from the court as well as the victim.

    The medical examination report shall have the following items:
    1. Name and address
    2. Age
    3. Substance used for DNA testing
    4. Mental condition
    5. Other things related.
  4. Harassment free and time bound investment
    The fourth right available to a rape victim applies harassment free and time bound investment. The following are the provisions of such right -:
    • Only a women police officer would or any other women officer has the right to record the statement of the victim along with the person approved by the victim itself.
    • Statement would be recorded in front of the magistrate who is a lady under the Section 164 (5-A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure in her chamber. The purpose for doing this is to check and match the statement given in the police.
    • In case the rape survivor is mentally ill or unstable, then any counsellor or any other Social Interpreter should be present at the moment.
  5. 'Right to trial with dignity, speed and protection
    Section 26(A) of the code of Criminal Procedure claims that trial would be done by the lady judge. Further, nobody has the right to asks questions to the victim that in any way humiliates her character.

    Section 53 of the Indian Evidence Act states that questions regarding sex history of a rape victim are irrelevant and unnecessary.

    Section 327(2)of the Code of Criminal Procedure claims that the proceedings of such cases are to be held in the presence of camera and the person who wants to appear in such cases have to take permission from the court as well as the victim.

    Section 327(3) prohibits the court proceedings of such cases to be published.

    Section 173(1)a states that a total of two months time is given to the police for speedy trial.

    Last but not the least, Section 309(1) states that sufficient courts to be set up for such cases.
  6. Right to compensation
    Right to compensation is the sixth right of the rape victims. The following are the provisions of this right:
    • Section 357(a) of Code of Criminal Procedure states about the victim's right to compensation.
    • In the case of Nipun Saxena vs the Union of India, the Supreme Court made specific guidelines for the compensation rules that needs to be followed.
    • Then the National Legal Service Authority made the rules for the compensation of the victim.
    • It is stated by the Calcutta High Court in the case of Serina Mondal Alias Piyada vs. The State of West Bengal and Ors compensation provided under Section 357A is provided to protect the fundamental right of a person. Also, in the case of Manohar Singh vs State of Rajasthan and Ors Supreme Court said that compensation can be given even if crime goes unpunished for want of adequate evidence.
Rape is a heinous crime as well as a curse to society that needs to be stopped as soon as possible. But with the growing era and the growing speed of technology, where the world is busy in a rat race, the crime rate has almost increased including the rape cases as well. A rape is indeed a traumatizing incident not only for the person who suffered through it but also for the closer ones to that person. Rape engulfs a person internally.

Rape is a mental illness and no revenge can actually cure the pain and the torture of a person who went through it but ino order to make the country safe and reduce the number of such crimes, the government has laid down certain rules and regulations that prevents such crimes. Apart from that the government also laid down many rights for the rape survivors as well. There are many organisations, profit or non profit working actively against such heinous offences. We as a human needs to realise the intensity of such heinous crimes and should work responsibly and actively at our own levels.

People needs to be made aware of their rights and also people needs to be made aware of such offences. Parents need to teach their children the seriousness of such cases, be more prone to moral values and educational institutions must carry out awareness programs making the students aware, sex education must be made necessary and many others. It is important to understand the laws made by the concerned authorities but as well we need to realise that a rape can destroy someone else's life.

With the growing rate of technology and education, we are moving towards a more literate society but such crimes serves as a dark spots to a country and somehow also predicts the dark future of the country as well. Hence, it's our responsibility to make the future of the country much safer as well as work together for the need of the hour!

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