NEW DELHI: The
ministry of home affairs
on Saturday directed all states and Union territories to strictly enforce laws and guidelines relating to
sexual assault on women
and take stringent action against officers responsible for lapses.
"Any lapses, if noticed, need to be investigated and stringent action taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the same," the MHA statement said.
As per the order of the Union govt, all the states are required to register an FIR, collection of evidence for forensic examination and use of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kit, completion of investigation in
sexual assault cases
in two months, use of National Database on Sexual Offenders for identifying and tracking repeat sexual offenders etc.
In case the crime is committed outside the jurisdiction of a police station, the victim can file a "Zero FIR".
However, even with stringent provisions in law and several capacity building measures undertaken, any failure of police to adhere to these mandatory requirements may not augur well for the delivery of criminal justice in the country, especially in the context of women safety," it said.
The government's order comes at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government is facing criticism from opposition parties and activists for its alleged shoddy investigation into the alleged gang-rape and death of a 19-year-old girl in Hathras.