Report No. 177
After section 50, a new section 50A in the following terms is sought to be inserted:
"50A. Every police officer or other person making any arrest under this Code shall forthwith give the information regarding such arrest and the place where the arrested person is being held to such person as may be nominated by the arrested person for the purpose of giving such information."
(The Parliamentary Committee has recommended addition of few more clauses to the effect: the right of an accused to have his friend or relative informed of his arrest; the obligation of the police to inform the accused of the said right available to him; making of an entry in the police diary of the above facts and the duty of the Magistrate, before whom the accused is produced, to satisfy himself that the aforesaid requirements are complied with. We commend the proposed amendment, as modified by the Parliamentary Committee.)
By section 9 of the Bill, the existing explanation to section 53 is sought to be substituted. The proposed explanation reads as follows:
"Explanatio.- In this section and in sections 53A and 54,-
(a) "examination shall include the examination of blood, swabs in case of sexual assault, sputum and sweat, hair samples and finger nail clippings and such other tests which the registered medical practitioner thinks necessary in a particular case;
(b) "registered medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner who possesses any medical qualification as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and whose name has been entered in a State Medical Register."
(The Parliamentary Committee has pointed out that the expression "sexual assault" used in the proposed provisions is not defined anywhere and therefore it would be more appropriate to use the expression "sexual offence".)
We agree with the proposed amendment. Our 172nd Report deals elaborately with sexual assault, its various forms and other incidental matters.
A new section, section 53A is sought to be inserted by section 10 of the Amendment Bill. The proposed new section reads as follows:
"53A. (1) When a person is arrested on a charge of committing an offence of rape or an attempt to commit rape and there are reasonable grounds for believing that an examination of his person will afford evidence as to the commission of such offence, it shall be lawful for a registered medical practitioner employed in a hospital run by the Government or by a local authority and in the absence of such a practitioner, by any other registered medical practitioner, acting at the request of a police officer not below the rank of a sub-inspector, and for any person acting in good faith in his aid and under his direction, to make such an examination of the arrested person and to use such force as is reasonably necessary for that purpose.
(2) The registered medical practitioner conducting such examination shall, without delay, examine such person and prepare a report of his examination giving the following particulars, namely:
(i) the name and address of the accused and of the person by whom he was brought,
(ii) the age of the accused,
(iii) marks of injury, if any, on the person of the accused, and
(iv) other material particulars in reasonable detail.
(3) The report shall state precisely the reasons for each conclusion arrived at.
(4) The exact time of commencement and completion of the examination shall also be noted in the report.
(5) The registered medical practitioner shall, without delay, forward the report to the investigating officer, who shall forward it to the Magistrate referred to in section 173 as part of the documents referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (5) of that section."
(The Parliamentary Committee has opined that examination of the accused by a private-registered medical practitioner should be valid only if no hospital run by government for a local authority is available.)
Section 11 of the Amendment Bill proposes to renumber the existing section 54 as sub-section (1) thereof and to introduce a new sub-section to the following effect:
"(2) Where an examination is made under sub-section (1), a copy of the report of such examination shall, on a request being made by the arrested person or by any person nominated by him in this behalf, be furnished by the registered medical practitioner to the arrested person or the person so nominated."
(The Parliamentary Committee has supported this proposal. It has indeed suggested that the requirement in this sub-section be made mandatory.)