The First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Gurgaon police in the alleged rape of the two Nepalese women by a Saudi diplomat shows that even four years after the December 16 Nirbhaya rape, nothing has changed.
The language in the FIR, which The Quint has accessed, is explicit, and leaves nothing to the imagination. Written in crude Hindi, the FIR not only shows disregard for the rape survivors, but also flies in the face of the law and essential principles of good policing.
There are clear guidelines on rape cases. Rape FIRs don’t require a pictorial or detailed account. A broad and dignified account of the rape victim is accepted by all courts.
— Amod Kanth, Former DGP and Secretary of Prayas NGO
According to the Maiti worker who took the Nepalese rape survivors to the police station to record their statement, they weren’t fluent in Hindi. The question then remains, why was such graphic language used by the Gurgaon police in the FIR?
That’s not all. As per the law, a woman officer has to record the statement of a rape victim. But in this case, the statement was recorded by a male officer. Devika Prasad, who works on police reforms at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, says that the police violated procedure.
Procedures have to be followed while registering an FIR and particularly for rape victims. The law says a woman officer must read back the FIR to the complainant and ensure total accuracy of the statement. The complainant must sign it and be given a copy immediately, free of cost.
— Devika Prasad, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
The Haryana state recently launched its first ever all-women police station in Gurgaon. Couldn’t the police have then arranged for a woman police officer to record the complaint of the two women?
Tthe National Commission for Women had recommended the insertion of sub-sections (3) and (4) into Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The statement shall be recorded by a female police officer and in case a female police officer is not available, by a female government servant available in the vicinity.
However, Kiran Bedi, a former Delhi top cop believes that it doesn’t matter who has recorded the statement.
It is a situational factor, a cop is a cop, one shouldn’t wait for a woman officer to record the statement. For the rest of the task such as searches, further recording of a statement, one should involve a woman.
— Kiran Bedi, Social Activist
Action Against Cops
Legal experts say that the police should be hauled up for not following procedure in dealing with rape cases.
If nothing else, the policemen should be hauled up for not knowing their jobs. For such insensitivity in this case, he should be sent to the police line and restrained for investigation. If they don’t know the law, then they should not be there.
— Kamini Jaiswal, Senior Lawyer, Supreme Court
A worker of Maiti, the NGO says that they haven’t received a copy of the FIR yet. But as per the law, after registering an FIR, the police should hand over a copy immediately to the victim or her family.
The Gurgaon police have not reacted even after Repeated attempts.
For the moment however, the damage has been done. Even in such a high-profile case involving a foreign diplomat, due process was not followed. What of the thousands of other rape cases filed every other day in India?