Report No. 84
3.14. Interrogation of child victim of rape-Statutory provision recommended.-
The practice as suggested above' could be adopted in metropolitan areas and big cities. But there is one matter which is of importance for the whole country. It is necessary that in the case of girls below a certain ag.- say, below twelve years who are victims of rape, there should be a statutory provision to ensure that the girl must be interrogated only by a woman. A woman police officer would be preferable. But, if a woman police officer is not available, an alternate procedure as detailed below should be followed.
The alternate procedure that we contemplate is this. Where a woman police officer is not available, the officer in charge of the police station should forward a list of questions to a qualified female (we shall suggest details later) who would, after recording the information as ascertained from the child victim, return the papers to the officer in charge of the police station. If necessary, further questions to be put to the child may be sent by the police to the interrogator. For the present, this procedure may be applied to female victims of offences below 12 years. It could later be utilised for child witnesses in general, if found practicable. The "qualified female" whom we have in mind should be one who is a social worker belonging to a recognised social organisation. If she possesses some knowledge of law and procedure, it would be all the more useful, but that need not be a statutory requirement.