Major changes have been made in the criminal justice delivery system through the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act 2008 which came into force on 31 December 2009. Among other changes, the Amendment Act provides that:
- With the permission of the court, a rape victim can engage an advocate to help the prosecution. Any victim's statement will have to be recorded at the victim's home or in a safe place or a place of her choice. As far as practicable, the statement should be recorded by a women police officer in the presence of the victim's parents or guardian or near relatives or social worker of the locality (Amendment of Sections 157 and 161).
- Statements can be recorded through audio/video or other electronic means. Investigation of rape/child sex abuse must be completed in three months from the date when information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station (Amendment of Section 173).
- For the possibility of having in camera trials and protection of the victims' identity, maintaining the confidentiality of the name and address of the parties and conduct of trials by a woman magistrate. It will enable the victim to go on appeal against any order passed by the court acquitting the accused or convicting him of a lesser offence, or awarding inadequate compensation. Such appeal shall be made in the court where an appeal is ordinarily made against the order of conviction (Amendment of Section 327).
Source of Information
Response of the Government of India to the questionnaire on violence against women 2010