MHA Issues Fresh Advisory To States On Women Safety

New Delhi: Taking cognizance of recent crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras and other states, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to all states and Union Territories (UTs) directing them for “mandatory” police action in such cases with compulsory registration of First Information Report (FIR).

It has further warned that any failure on the part of the police to adhere to the mandatory requirements in crime against women will be inquired and necessary action will be taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the lapses.

The advisory says, “It is requested that states and UTs may suitably issue instructions to all concerned to ensure strict compliance with the provisions in the law”.

The states and the UTs have also been requested to monitor the cases on the Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) to ensure that suitable follow up action is taken on the charge sheet of the guilty in a timely manner as required in the law.

The Ministry issued the advisory on Friday — days after a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang raped by four men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras leading to her death. As similar crimes were reported in Jharkhand and Rajasthan,and other states leading to widespread protest and political outcry, the Ministry took the step to issue the fresh advisory.

In the advisory, the Ministry referred to its May 16, 2019 advisory on a “failure to record information under sub-section (1) of Section 154 of CrPC punishable under 166A of the Indian Penal Code”. The MHA took reference of its another advisory dated December 5, 2019 regarding timely and proactive action by the police in cases of crimes against women.

The Ministry also mentioned Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the investigation and prosecution of rape against women issued by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), and added points regarding distribution of the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits to states and UTs by BPR&D as described in MHA’s letter dated October 5 this year.

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