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Report No. 172

4.2.3. Reiteration of the recommendations made in the 154th Report.-

On a consideration of all the relevant facts and the realities of life, we too are of the opinion that the procedure indicated in the sub-sections (4), (5) and (6) is too involved besides being impracticable. Implementation of the several steps mentioned in the said sub-sections (4) to (6) would indeed result in unnecessary harassment to the victim of the offence or to the complainant, as the case may be.

We are inclined to agree with the opinion expressed in para 6.9 of the 154th Report of the Law Commission in this behalf. We have however changed the language of sub-section (3) by including a woman government officer. Changes are also called for in the light of the amendments effected by Act 43 of 1983 and also in the light of the recommendations made by us in paras 3.2 and 3.5 (substitution of the offence in section 375 and the addition of section 376E). Insertion of sub-sections (3) & (4) in section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.Accordingly, we recommend that the following two sub-sections be inserted in section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure:

"(3) Where under this chapter, the statement of a female is to be recorded either as first information of an offence or in the course of an investigation into an offence and she is a person against whom an offence under sections 354, 375, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376E or 509 of the Indian Penal Code is alleged to have been committed or attempted, the statement shall be recorded by a female police officer and in case a female police officer is not available, by a female government servant available in the vicinity and in case a female government servant is also not available, by a female authorised by an organisation interested in the welfare of women or children.

(4) Where in any case none of the alternatives mentioned in sub-section (3) can be followed for the reason that no female police officer or female government servant or a female authorised by an organisation interested in the welfare of women and children is available, the officer in charge of the police station shall, after recording the reasons in writing, proceed with the recording of the statement of such female victim in the presence of a relative of the victim."

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