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Female magistrates to record statements of rape victims

Supreme Court's instruction

Published : Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 656

The Supreme Court has issued a circular asking chief judicial magistrates and chief metropolitan magistrates to assign female judicial officials for recording testimonies of female and child victims of rape and sexual harassment from now on.
"It has been noticed that some male magistrates have been recording statements from female and child victims in some cases. The victims hesitate to narrate their ordeal to a male magistrate," reads the circular.
"Considering the circumstances, female magistrates are essential to record the testimonies of rape or other sexual assault victim, so that children or woman can narrate the sufferings they have been through easily and without hesitation," it says.
"This is for the sake of fair investigation and trial," the top court said in the circular issued on Monday.
Supreme Court Registrar General Dr Md Zakir Hossain issued the circular as per instruction of Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, also adding that in absence of any female magistrate, the responsibility can be given to any other qualified magistrate.
In the circular, the SC Registrar General said there is a provision in Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000 for recording statements from the victims in such cases.

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