ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Changes in Law, What about Mindsets?

Humane legal proceedings for the rape victim need more than changes to the criminal procedure code.

For the rape victim in India, the legal trial can be as traumatic as the rape itself. Beginning with the filing of the complaint, then the medical examination and through the entire legal process, the victim goes through a harrowing time due to both the insensitivity of the police and judicial delays. The union cabinet’s approval of changes in the criminal procedure code (CPC) that are aimed at easing the process for rape victims is therefore welcome.

Among the changes that are to be enacted in law are: women judges to hear cases as far as practicable, completion of trial within two months of the commencement of witness examination, investigation of the case at the victim’s residence and as far as practicable by a woman police officer, questioning of victim in the presence of her parents or a social worker of the locality at the location of her choice, ban on publication of trial proceedings in rape cases to be lifted subject to maintaining confidentiality of identity, and investigation in child rape cases to be completed within three months of the complaint.

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