Trials of sexual offences to be over in 2-mth

Last Updated: Friday, January 1, 2010 - 20:33

New Delhi: As a fallout of the Ruchika
molestation case, trials in all sexual offences including rape
will now be completed within two months as far as possible and
all victims will have the right to appeal against a court
order, under new amendments to CrPC.

The amendments which came into effect yesterday would
come as a big relief to complainants as till now only the
state could file an appeal against an order.

A statement on key amendments released by the Union
Ministry of Home Affairs said that victims will now be allowed
to engage an advocate to assist the prosecution.

It also prescribes that the statement of a victim of rape
shall be recorded at her residence and as far as practicable,
by a woman police officer in the presence of the victim`s
parents or guardian, or a social worker.

The amendments also enable recording of statements or
confessions by audio-video electronic means.

It also stipulates that the trial of an offence under
Sections 376 (rape) to 376D IPC (entire section deals with
sexual offences) shall, as far as possible, be completed
within two months.

The amendment also incorporates a new Section 357A
obliging every state government to prepare a scheme for
providing funds for compensating the victim of a crime or his
dependents besides providing for execution of bond by a person
seeking bail pending an appeal.

The CrPC was amended in 2006 but the amended Act has not
been brought into force so far. Three provisions relating to
the power of a police officer to make an arrest and power of
court to refuse or grant adjournments have also been put on
hold.

These are Sections 5, 6 and 21(b) of the Amendment Act
which relate to the power of a police officer to make an
arrest and the power of the court to grant or refuse
adjournments.

Representations were received against these provisions.
Hence, they were referred to the Law Commission. The Law
Commission held consultations and submitted its report.

On the basis of the report, an Amendment Bill has been
approved by the Cabinet. It could not be introduced in the
last session of Parliament and is expected to be introduced in
the Budget Session.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 1, 2010 - 20:33

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