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Rape and responsibilities

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By: Hafiz Muhammad Azaeem

Reprehensible, deplorable, despicable, extremely repugnant, and totally unforgivable, indefensible, outrageous, and non-compoundable is the offence rape. However, however much detestable as it is, it is still an offence and requires a trial.

These days, due to the horrifying and appalling motorway-incident of rape, the whole country’s moral conscious is under anguish and pain. No compensation except the punishment could heal the wounds. And as it was claimed in media by authorities, the accused is previously a record-holder. Then the whole country’s question is: why do such culprits get scot-free? Why do they have a second chance? Why do they get acquitted? Whose fault is it?

Allegation of crime, how much heinous is the offence, is one thing; its trial is another. Many blame the investigating agency; the investigating agency blames the lawyers; lawyers blame the investigating agency and legislators; legislators blame the courts; courts again blame the investigating agency for poor collection of evidence. Awfully no one is ready to accept the blame. Nevertheless, all are collectively responsible.

Firstly, with regards to the investigation agency, many basic negligences can be removed. Whenever the information is registered under section 154 CrPC of the offence of rape. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Investigation of Rape Cases, 2013 must be followed by the police. It provides that its investigation must be conducted by a female police officer. The police must behave with utmost sympathy with the victim, so that she may be able to explain the incident. Immediate access of a psychiatrist must be made available to her. The foremost important task is to send the victim for medico-legal-examination forthwith. She must be medically examined with her consent only. No compulsion should be there.........

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