Kerala High Court expresses concern over failure of liaison officers to help rape victims

The Kerala High Court on Monday expressed its concern over the failure of victim liaison officers appointed under the Victim Protection Protocols to provide proper assistance to victims in rape cases.

Justice Devan Ramachandran, while dealing with a petition filed by a rape victim seeking police protection, observed that the principles and imperative requirements of the Victim Protection Protocols had come up for consideration in the case.

In a report filed before the court, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakara, said a woman police officer was appointed as the victim liaison officer for the petitioner. The petitioner with her sister had come to the station and demanded to give a request to the medical officer for medical termination of pregnancy. The police had tried to convince the petitioner that it was illegal and an offence to give such a request, the report added.

The court pointed out that the averments of the police were disconcerting because if there had been a victim liaison officer appointed for the petitioner, the court failed to understand why the officer had not given necessary advice and support to her since she was, concededly, a rape victim, entitled to be given such, at least at that stage.

The court said if the Victim Protection Protocols were being put to effect in that manner, then certainly the victims would not get any real benefit, apart from it being a “paper service”.

The court direct the Assistant Commissioner to immediately have the victim liaison officer meet the petitioner and advise her and lead her regarding the legal steps to be taken with respect to her plea under Section 164A of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 12:01:29 AM |

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