The centre has scrapped a 20-year-old provision of conducting medical examination in cases of non-invasive sexual harassment - like gestures or acts intended at insulting the modesty of women and stalking - against Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe victims.
The new Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015 which came into force on January 26 this year, included a series of new offences following which the rules had to be modified.
The new rules
- Under the new rules, separate provision of relief for offences of rape and gangrape were introduced for the first time to give effect to the amended provisions.
- These offences fall under the category of invasive offences and also offences like assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe, sexual harassment, voyeurism, stalking which fall under non-invasive category have also been specifically mentioned.
- Now, in cases of non-invasive offences, the government has done away with the medical examination part. Medical examination is now required only in crimes of invasive nature.
- The new rules also mandate that investigation and filing of chargesheet in cases of atrocities against SC/ST women will now have to be completed within 60 days of commission of the offence.
- The new Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Preventionof Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016, notified recently by government, also has provision of increased relief to victims ranging from Rs 85,000 to Rs 8.25 lakh.
- Earlier the amount ranged between Rs 75,000 and Rs 7.5 lakh, depending upon the nature of the offence.
- Earlier 50 per cent of the amount was paid after medical examination and remaining 50 per cent at the conclusion of the trial.
-With inputs from PTI