BENGALURU: A panel of experts constituted by the government to strengthen laws on sexual offences is considering recommending amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to prevent those accused of such crimes from getting anticipatory bail. It also wants to reduce the maximum time given for filing chargesheet from 90 days to 30.
According to sources in the draft committee of the panel, headed by former minister M C Nanaiah, there is also a plan to recommend setting up special courts to try the accused, on the lines of the Lokayukta court or courts dealing with cases booked under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
This apart, the draft committee has decided to recommend removal of the cumbersome medical procedure that sexual assault victims, especially children, go through. At present, the complainant has to go to a hospital and be subjected to an invasive medical examination that is “humiliating and mentally torturous”.
The panel’s recommendation is to bring the doctor and other necessary staff to the complainant’s home and then conduct the necessary test, a member of the draft committee told Express.
A Big Call
The committee’s legal experts are weighing the pros and cons of Section 438 of CrPC, which allows a person to seek bail in anticipation of arrest for a non-bailable offence. However, making changes to the provision is a big step and needs to be approved by the Central government.
“We have visited various colleges, including Christ College, National Law School of India University and bodies like the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce,
and have even consulted women advocates to come up with rigorous measures against culprits. Another sub-committee, headed by former minister Motamma, visited various schools in the wake of increasing number of child abuse cases,” a member said.
Senior advocate H S Chandramouli, a member of the draft committee, said the panel is yet to take a final call on what recommendations to make. Its final report is expected to be submitted by March-end.