Dr Nagarathna A


While the number of reported cases of sexual offences against women in India is increasing, as per official records, including that of the recently published report of the NCRB, the number of cases that result in timely and successful investigation which is crucial for successful prosecution are very few. A victim of such offence often faces difficulties, including getting the FIR registered on time and getting the criminal process initiated. This not only affects the following criminal process, but also curtails her access to justice, including legal remedies available in the form of medical treatment, counselling and compensation. Additionally, criminal procedure code mandates compliance with certain procedures of law in the course of such a crime’s investigation, including recording of FIR by a women officer, judicial recording of victim’s statement, medical examination of victim, forensic analysis of evidence, etc. Despite these legal provisions, compliance with such rules is hardly seen. To add to these legal mandates, Ministry of Home Affairs has come up with a few important directives, including the latest one in the month of October 2020. This paper makes an analysis of the abovementioned legal mandates and Government Directives in relation to investigation of sexual offences committed against women in India. The analysis also includes critical assessment of effectiveness of such provisions.



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