Women’s panel asked for guidelines to probe incest cases

July 9th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to help formulate guidelines for investigating cases where minors were allegedly raped by their family members. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah decided to involve the commission in framing guidelines after it pointed out that the acquittal rate in such cases was high due to limitations faced by the police while collecting evidence.

“The commission should conduct a consultative exercise and prepare comprehensive guidelines. The suggested guidelines should be placed before us within eight weeks,” said the bench, which also comprised Justice S. Muralidhar.

The court passed the order while hearing a petition of the DCW that sought the Delhi government be directed to issue guidelines to the police while investigating cases of incest.

The commission, in its petition, cited a case where a trial court had acquitted a man accused of raping his four-year-old daughter after the victim’s mother and elder sister retracted their statements.

While acquitting the man, additional sessions judge Anoop Kumar Mendiratta said: “The acquittal in this case is painful as a blossoming child is alleged to have been ravished by her own father, but unfortunately both her mother and sister turned hostile and did not support the prosecution.”

The wife of the accused had lodged a complaint on the date of the incident while her elder daughter supported the complaint. But in their depositions before the court, both denied all the allegations against the accused.

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