New Delhi: It has been a little over a year since the 16 December incident. The incident, where a 23 year old medical student was brutally raped and murdered in Delhi, shook the conscience of the country and brought them to the streets in protest.
Aamir Khan's TV show 'Satyamev Jayate's' second season opened with a reminder of the horrific incident. The two hour long episode highlighted the various facts and figures about rape incidents that occur in the country and focused on the problems that still mar a survivor from getting speedy justice.
The episode brought out some hard facts, some which perhaps none of us had an idea about. Are you aware of all these aspects?
- It is the responsibility of a police officer to register a complaint. A person who refuses to lodge a rape complaint can be prosecuted. A rape survivor need not undergo a medical examination to file a complaint.
- When a FIR is registered, it is the right of the rape survivor to have a copy of the FIR with herself.
- In case of ill treatment by a police officer, a survivor of sexual assault can report any misbehaviour to the District Superintendent of Police.
- A rape survivor cannot be denied treatment or a medical examination if she has not filed an FIR with the police first.
- There is so far no standardized way of examining a rape survivor at a hospital. Each hospital has a different procedure to treat a rape survivor.
- At the court of law, a survivor is never given a copy of the statement that she has recorded.
- Post the 16th December incident, the Justice Usha Mehra committee has changed rules in order to get speedy justice in such cases. The committee states that a rape survivor has the right to demand a qualified doctor to examine her and has to have a senior police officer involved in her case. The survivor will also be provided with forensic assistance so that the court has can deliver verdict within 2 months.
- If the survivor is below 18 the case must be heard in a special court (Section 28(1), Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act).
- All questions must be asked in a sensitive and easy-to understand manner. For this, the defence lawyer (lawyer of the accused) should submit in writing the questions he or she wants the survivor to be asked (Sakshi Vs. Union of India).
- Rape has nothing to do with a person's clothes. A survey that was conducted in MP in 2013 states 48% of the victims were wearing salwar kurta, 41% were clad in sari and 10% of toddlers wore frocks and pajamas at the time of the incident.
- Sarika Sinha of Action Aid states, "Rape is not about sexual urge, it is about power."