She fought bravely and now she is no more among us. But she has stirred the nation to think, speak and fight for things that matter. Now when we know , we aren’t safe and that anybody can pounce upon our body,soul and dignity without much of an effort, at least let us safeguard our own selves by knowing some of our legal rights.
#1 Free legal aid
When you go to the police station to report a rape,the station house master lets the Delhi Legal Services Authority know. So if there’s a need for you to complain, go to this legal body and they will arrange a lawyer for you.
#2 Right to privacy
Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a woman who has been raped can record her statement before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, or she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable without anybody else’s presence. This is done for a simple reason of making her feel comfortable and not be under any kind of stress while narrating the incident.
#3 Question of Time
The police cannot refuse to register an FIR at any point of time even if a considerable amount of time has gone by, as directed by the Supreme Court. If they deny, be sure and ask them to register the complain.
#4 Complain in writing
If by any chance , the victim is unable to personally go and lodge the complain, she can still report it via email or registered post addressed to a senior police officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner of Police . The police then can come to her residence and start their investigation.
#5 Area doesn’t matter
A rape victim can register her police complaint from any police station under the Zero FIR ruling by Supreme Court. This is a Supreme Court ruling for you to remember and practice.
#6 Sunset is the limit
According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night.
#7 You are not invited
Women cannot be called to the police station for interrogation under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Indian women have been provided with the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation.
#8 Protection Guaranteed
Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim is to be revealed because under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code the disclosure of a victim’s identity is seen as a punishable offense.This should be followed by all ; the media or the judges so that the victim is saved from social victimization.
# 9 Medical report
A doctor can only issue a medical report after examining the patient and that report alone is a legal document and not what the doctor says.
#10 Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee
According to the Supreme Court’s guideline, it is mandatory for all firms, public and private, to set up these committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It should be headed by a woman and have 50% women as members.
Stay Aware. Stay Safe!