The draft Sexual Offences (Special Courts) Bill, 2010 -prepared by the Law Ministry -- and currently awaiting the Home Ministry's assent, also defines what constitutes molestation much more sharply than at present.
It proposes allowing the police to arrest a person accused of the crime without a warrant.
A simple complaint from the victim will be enough.
"Tough measures are required to deter sexual offences against women," Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily told HT.
"Following the shocking Ruchika case, it is clear that molestation needs to be treated as a serious sexual offence as rape."
The bill seeks to modify relevant sections of both the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.The Law Ministry's move to make molestation a non-bailable and cognisable offence -- increasing the maximum imprisonment for the crime from two to five years -in wake of the Ruchika Girhotra case will surely help women seeking justice for an offence "as traumatic as rape."
This year alone, 506 cases of molestation were reported in the National Capital.
In 2008, 590 cases of molestation were reported in the city.
And there are many women who do not lodge any complaint for the fear of being harassed by the police or the accused.
"We have come across several victims who have backtracked on complaints of molestation. Either they fear the accused or the police," said Rajat Mitra, clinical psychologist who has counselled several victims of sexual offences.
"The multiplicity of instances where they have to repeat the ordeal to the police takes a toll on most of them and they do not press ahead with the complaint," Mitra said.
Following a Delhi High Court order, the Delhi Police had set up a rape crisis intervention centre to deal with victims of sexual offences, including molestation.
"In collaboration with NGOs we have provided training to policemen to deal with women who complain of sexual harassment. There is a strict diktat to take immediate action in such cases. Preferably a policewoman is put on the job," said Rajan Bhagat, spokesman, Delhi Police. He added that if a victim needed "protection", it is immediately granted.
"We tell the police not to interrogate the victim. There are countless cases where she is taken to a police station and asked to narrate the incident in a hostile environment.
There should be privacy and no interruptions at all. These guidelines are seldom followed," said Mitra.
"A molestation victim goes through the same bouts of depression and depression that of rape victim," said Mitra.
Police said to counter such instances, they also provide selfdefence training to college students.
"From time to time we keep organising self defence techniques at various colleges. This helps them to tackle any kind of crisis," said the officer.
News Courtsey Hindustan Times
रुचिका , जसिका लाल दो ऐसे नाम हैं जिन्होने सोचने को मजबूर किया हैं कि न्याय प्रणाली मे सुधार कि आवश्यकता हैं ।