The Supreme Court directed the magistrates to record the statement of female and child victims of rape and sexual harassment in order to ensure fair investigation and justice.
Supreme Court’s Registrar General already has issued the circular as per instruction from Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain. There is a provision in the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 2000 for recording statements from the victim in such cases, the circular read. Statement of victims play an important role for the sake of fair investigation and justice.
According to the circular, “It has been noticed that statements from female and child victims are recorded by the male magistrates in several cases. Such victims hesitate to narrate the incident of rape or sexual assault before male magistrates in some cases.”
In this circumstance, a female magistrate is needed to record the statements from the victims so that they can narrate the incidents without any hesitation and confusion, the notice added.
The notice also said that the responsibility can be provided to other magistrates if there is no women magistrate in the concerned district or metropolis. The circular also requested that if any problem arise to maintain the direction then that should be informed to the Supreme Court.
Such direction came after the allegation of misconduct against former Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Feni over college student Nusrat Jahan Rafi issue.
Basically, women and children face embarrassing situation during explain their statement in front of male police officer or magistrate. The issue surfaced following the misconduct of Feni OC and video of the victim during recording statement.
The direction of the top court of the country over the issue is undoubtedly a matter of praise. It was a wise and timely decision. Various kinds of unexpected incidents including rape, tortures are taking place in the country. Some of the incidents cross primitive brutality. The normal flow of life will be hampered if such incidents cannot be stopped. Statement of victim women and children is important to know the background of incidents. That’s urgent for the sake of justice.
We think that there are some other issues also side by side the victim’s statement. Those factors should be considered. The reason behind the epidemic of sexual torture against women and children is weak points of law. Sometimes, social barriers also play a role in this regard. We expect the direction of Supreme Court will be implement properly evaluating the issues.
risingbd/Dhaka/Apr 21, 2019/Ali Nowsher/Nasim