How to file a complaint Police Investigation Procedure to take survivor's information Important pointers
Police Station - What You Need To Know
Listed below are common guidelines and procedure that the police follow when dealing with cases of rape.
- File an FIR (they CANNOT refuse)
- Investigation (document & evidence collection)
- Chargesheet (filing of the final report)
- Court Hearing
- Most police stations have a ‘Rapid Response Desk for Women, Children and Senior Citizens’ where at least one lady officer is seated at all times. The victim must approach the officials at this desk. In the off chance that such a desk is not accessible, the victim may approach the officer on duty.
- Incase there is no lady officer, a lady constable is called to take the statement; incase the latter in also unavailable a lady representative from a NGO is called. The victim can also choose to give her statement in the company of her parents/ guardian.
- Officers cannot refuse to file an FIR under any circumstances. A statement will be recorded in the FIR according to the victim’s narration of the incident, in Hindi, English or Marathi. In most cases, the recording officer will translate the statement to Marathi and fill up the FIR form. On the basis of this statement, the sections of the offences are determined.
- If the victim is under severe trauma, relatives or friends can approach the police. A lady officer will be sent to the victim’s residence/ hospital where they can record her statement.
- The police station that registers the complaint forwards the details to the police station nearest to where the crime was committed (if the two are not the same) and they take over.
- An investigation is initiated on the basis of the victim’s description of the offender. Cases of rape require collection of medical evidence that can be done by government hospitals or private hospitals, however police stations suggest government hospitals. The police officials direct the victim to the nearest government hospital or the victim is free to go to a government hospital of her choice. After the medical test is done, the victim has no further obligations. The test reports are collected and sent to the courts by police officials.
- Police stations cannot grant bail to such an offender. The courts, however, can in exceptional cases, grant a conditioned bail under which the accused is to keep away from the victim and no one from his end is to intimidate the victim or her relatives to withdraw the case.
- The material evidence collected are stored as muddemal articles (items used for crime and recovered from the accused) in custody of the police personnel in a sealed condition along with a Panchanama, later produced in court.
- After an arrest, a charge sheet is made and sent to the court. The accused is to be produced before a court of law within a period of 24 hours. This entire procedure takes up a maximum time period of up to 3 months. The Investigation Officer (IO) stays the same throughout the period of the case. Incase of transfer or retirement of an IO, the matter is handed over to the new IO. During court hearings, regardless of retirement or transfer: all the IO's dealing with the case must appear before the court to give their statement. The case is fought by the lawyers towards a verdict.
Is covered under Sec. 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Every information relating to the commission of the offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; the written statement shall then be signed by the informant/ victim, and the statement should be entered in a book to be kept by the officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe.
- If the informant is a woman complaining about any sexual offences, whether committed or attempted, the information shall be recorded by a woman police officer or any woman officer;
- If the woman who is the victim is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, then such information shall be recorded by a police officer, at the residence of the person seeking to report such offence or at a convenient place of such person’s choice, in the presence of an interpreter or a special educator, as the case may be;
- the recording of such information shall be video graphed;
A copy of the information as recorded shall be given free of cost to the informant.
- Any person, aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information may send the information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.
- Police helpline specific for women: 103, to be used if a woman is under duress or feels threatened. Exact location or whereabout to be stated and police officials will be at the venue in under 5 minutes.
- If travelling by public transport and you want your last known location to be tracked for safety, SMS 9969777888 with the number of the vehicle you are travelling in. Your contact along with the vehicle no. gets fed on the police server, this helps the police track you in case you believe your safety is jeopardized. However, please note that sending the SMS does not automatically intimate the police to track you.
- Police, regardless of jurisdiction, must file complaints if it is an Offence under The Code of Criminal Procedure. They cannot refuse the same, based on the incident being out of their jurisdiction.
- If a woman feels threatened, she can file an FIR and action would be taken.
- If an official refuses to file an FIR, the victim can approach the Senior Police Inspector or ACP at the police station.
- FIRs are not registered in civil matters.
- The procedures followed must be in strict accordance to the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.