Observing that a case over rape, sexual harassment or any other such incidents can be filed with any police station, no matter whether the incident takes place under its jurisdiction or not, the High Court on Sunday asked the officers-in-charge of all the police stations to record such cases without any delay.
It has also instructed them to compulsorily send samples to a forensic laboratory within 48 hours of filing of a rape case for DAN test.
An HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Kazi Izharul Akanda passed the orders in the full verdict on a writ petition filed earlier by five human right organisations.
The writ petition was filed following the rape of a Garo girl on May 21 of 2015, who was picked up from the city’s Kuril area and raped in a running car.
The victim and her family faced immense harassment while filing a case over the incident.
At 4 am that night, they went to Turag Police Station where police refused to record any case as the incident happened in different areas. Then they went to Gulshan Police Station around 5 am where police told them the same.
Finally, they went to Bhatara Police Station around 6:30 am where the officer-in-charge (OC) was absent. They had to wait until 9:30 am when the OC came and finally the case was filed around 12:30 pm. The victim was sent to hospital for medical test a day later.
After hearing the writ petition, the court issued a rule on May 25, 2015 and passed its order on February 18, 2016.
The full text of the verdict was released on April 22 last, almost two years after the short verdict.
The HC issued an 18-point directive over investigation into rape incidents and filing cases over those, asking for following those until a specific law formulated in this regard.
As per the directives, officers-in-charge of the police stations must record complaints of a rape victim, no matter wherever the incident takes place.
A server will have to set up immediately where victims can file their complaints and there will have to be a provision of taking legal actions against police members if they make delay in recording cases without any reason.
Every police station must keep a policewoman who will take the victim for health check-up and each police station must make a list of female social workers who will provide the victims with mental help and support.
The court also directed the Home, Women and Children Affairs, and Law ministries, and Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take steps for formulating a policy based on its recommendations, directives and observations.