Andhra Pradesh

A ray of hope for rape victims

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"Justice delayed, is justice denied" goes the saying. But, speedy justice is hard to come by, with trials usually taking years to reach a conclusion. The reasons include shortage of judges, judicial staff, witnesses turning hostile, and the like.

Post the recent rape and murder of a woman veterinarian in Hyderbad, the Andhra Pradesh Government, promptly came out with the A.P. Disha Act to ensure speedy justice by setting up Disha Centres to exclusively deal with such cases. One such centre was set up in the premises of King George Hospital (KGH), under the auspices of the District Women Development and Child Welfare Department.

The centre will have a full-time sub-inspector, gynaecologist, forensic experts and duty doctors round-the-clock. The idea is to initiate action against the perpetrators of the crime, through special courts, within 21 days after a crime is committed.

"A total of 12 gynaecologists have been trained for dealing with these specialised cases at the Disha Centre. Unlike in the past when such victims used to be examined at the gynaecology ward, they will now have to be checked in the patient isolation room at the Disha Centre. The material evidence like seminal fluid, blood stains and nails have to be collected and handed over to the police for analysis at the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (RFSL) at Marripalem in the city," KGH Superintendent G. Arjuna told The Hindu.

"We have requested the government to ensure supply of ‘safe kits’ (standard kits) for examining of patients in such cases. This is because there is a shortage of standard kits in the local market and we have suggested identification of a single agency for their supply. The RFSL is located about 15 km away from KGH, and we sought opening of one in Andhra Medical College (AMC) or at Sakhi centre (One Stop Centre) for better coordination between the medical and forensic experts as the medical report has to be issued within 48 hours," he explained.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 3:07:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/a-ray-of-hope-for-rape-victims/article30552775.ece

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