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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has asked all states and Union Territories (UTs) directing them for "mandatory" police action with compulsory registration of First Information Report (FIR) in cases of crimes against women. The MHA's stricter guidelines comes closely on the heels of shocking crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras and other states

In its latest advisory, the MHA has asked governments to ensure that police compulsorily register FIR in case of a cognizable offence under sub-section (1) of section 154 of the CrPC. In case if the crime is committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station, the law also enables the police to register Zero FIR.

It has further warned that any failure on the part of the police to adhere to the mandatory requirements in crime against women will be inquired and necessary action will be taken immediately against the concerned officers responsible for the lapses.

The advisory says, "It is requested that states and UTs may suitably issue instructions to all concerned to ensure strict compliance with the provisions in the law".

The states and the UTs have also been requested to monitor the cases on the Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) to ensure that suitable follow up action is taken on the charge sheet of the guilty in a timely manner as required in the law.

The Ministry also mentioned Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the investigation and prosecution of rape against women issued by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and added points regarding distribution of the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits to states and UTs by BPR&D as described in MHA's letter dated October 5 this year.

With IANS inputs.

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