Incest crimes: court to guide investigators

April 15th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it would draft guidelines for investigators of incest crimes so that they are sensitive to the emotions of the victims.
This followed complaints that investigators and prosecutors of such crimes, whose incidence had gone up sharply in recent times, acted often insensitively, particularly when dealing with child victims.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul considered framing of guidelines after Delhi Police submitted their line of action for sensitising people investigating the case.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) had submitted the draft guidelines that can be implemented by investigating agencies and trial courts.

Delhi Police counsel Mukta Gupta told the court that police have planned training of judges, public prosecutors, doctors and police officials to sensitise them on various aspects of incest crimes.

“We will conduct the training in the phased manner. We are also printing a detailed brochure for all the concerned people who are in any way deal with such kind of cases,” Gupta told the court.

The court was hearing suggestions of DCW in its public interest petition seeking direction to the state to issue guidelines for investigating agencies in such cases.

A woman officer should be sent to the complainant or the victim’s house besides creating a friendly atmosphere for the victim to express herself fearlessly, the Commission has suggested.

It said the child should be kept under the care of the Child Welfare Committee and there should be a special court room for hearing of incest cases with video conferencing facilities to record the victim’s statement.

Citing a rape case where the trial court has acquitted Lalit Pandey of the charges of raping his four-and-half-year-old daughter as the victim’s mother and elder sister had retracted the complaint, DCW counsel said the court should also issue guidelines for trial courts so as to strictly deal with such type of cases.

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