Police not following guidelines on crime against women: PC

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday lamented that the police, prosecutors and judges were not following detailed guidelines issued by his ministry on handling of cases relating to crime against women keeping in mind the sensibilities and sensitivities of the victim.

"There are very strict guidelines on how a case (crime against women) should be investigated and prosecuted. I agree that the guidelines are not followed in some cases by the police, prosecutors and judges," he told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

He said the Centre from time-to-time impressed upon the state governments that the guidelines must be followed so that the "agony and sufferings" of the victim were lessened.

"I appeal to the police, prosecutors and judges to follow the guidelines properly so that the problems of the victims are lessened," he said.

Regarding the attacks on women foreign tourists, he said though it was true that some women tourists were molested, it was not proper to portray that India was not safe for foreign travellers.

He said the Centre had issued detailed advisory on safety and security of foreign tourists and some state governments had created a tourism police force.

"I hope that the state governments will take the advisory seriously and implement it," he added.

On sex crimes against domestic helps, Chidambaram said they were "quiet victims" due to the "kind of relationship" and "unequal situation" they were in.

Arguing that if domestic helps get themselves organised, as witnessed in some cities, it would be possible to sensitise and educate them on the dangers they could face and how to handle such situations.

"I agree that crime against women is a matter of grave concern. It is unfortunate," he said, adding that the number of cases was growing.

"But the police too were solving a large number of such crimes and bringing culprits to book," he added.

He assured members that the Centre would continue to "do its best" and impress upon the state governments to "do their best" to ensure that women get justice.

Chidambaram said among the guidelines in the advisory were thorough investigation and charge sheet against accused within three months of date of occurrence, medical examination in cases of rape without delay and creation of Special Women police cells in police stations.

Women judges hearing cases of crime against women, policemen not touching women victims, recording statement of victim at her home in the presence of her parents, relatives or women social workers and in camera hearing of the cases are some of the other guidelines.