DLSA takes Panchkula police to task for not reporting rapes

The district legal service authority (DLSA) in Panchkula has taken a strong line, noting that the police does not report "all the rape cases'' that happen in the district. The cases must be reported to it to ensure that there was no harassment to the victims and that cases are registered in all the incidents.

The DLSA has written to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Panchkula, that the cases should be reported to it on a regular basis so that "justice is meted out to the victims.''

Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) and Secretary of DLSA, Panchkula, Jaibir Singh Hooda, said that a letter was written to the police last month after it came to his notice that the concerned police stations in the district do not involve all the panel's advocates attached with police stations to file the rape cases. In fact, in the last three months, in five of the rape cases in which the DLSA intervened, police only reported three cases to it. The DLSA intervention, to ensure justice to the victims, came in the other two cases after they were reported by the newspapers.

Hooda said that involvement of the panel's advocates during the registration of rape cases was mandated under the model scheme for legal aid prosecution that has been started by the Haryana State Legal Services Authority (HSLSA). Under the scheme, women advocates on the panel of DLSA attached with different police stations have to provide legal assistance to the rape victims. Hooda said that the panels' advocates have been designated to "ensure that the victim's version in a rape case is properly recorded by police and she is not kept waiting in the police station before being heard in the case." The scheme is also to ensure that during the trial, rape victims get the services of legal counsel, said Hooda.

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