KOCHI: Expressing concern over the rise in the number of complaints by rape survivors of harassment by the accused as well as police officers, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that the stipulations for the protection of women, who have faced the agony of sexual harassment and attack, will certainly have to be given a very close look.
The state government should answer on how the mandate of protection of sexual attack victims should be effectively implemented because this is a matter that cuts at the root of the societal response to such grievous attacks and offences.
Justice Devan Ramachandran observed that cases of sexual attack victims and rape survivors being intimidated by the accused and their associates have been coming to the court with some regularity. The court issued the order when the petition by a rape victim alleging harassment came up for hearing. A minor rape victim approached the court the other day alleging that the accused and others were intimidating and threatening her, so as to force her not to file an appeal against them.
In the present case, the victim alleged that the Station House Officer and the Civil Police Officer attached to the Thrikkakkara Police Station are acting in collaboration with the accused against her. This forced her to go into hiding and stay with a close relative of hers.
The court observed that the guidelines, circulars and orders issued by the government to protect victims of sexual attacks are not being effectively implemented. The court directed the state police chief to explain how the victim protection protocols can be efficiently implemented.
The court also directed the City Police Commissioner to ensure that the lives of the petitioner and her minor child are effectively protected.