The bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the orders in the full verdict on a petition filed earlier by five human rights organizations
Observing that a case over rape, sexual harassment or any other such incidents can be filed with any police station, no matter whether the incident takes place under its jurisdiction or not, the High Court on Sunday asked the officers-in-charge (OCs) of all the police stations to record such cases with any delay.
It also instructed them to compulsorily send samples to a forensic laboratory within 48 hours of filing of a rape case for DNA test.
The bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the orders in the full verdict on a petition filed earlier by five human rights organizations.
The petition was filed following the rape of a Garo girl on May 21, 2015, who was picked up from Dhaka’s Kuril area and raped in a moving car.
The victim and her family faced had immense harassment while filing a case over the incident.
At 4am that night, they went to Turag police station where police refused to record a case as the incident happened in different areas. Then the family went to Gulshan police station around 5am where they faced a similar situation.
Finally, they went to Bhatara police station around 6:30am where the OC was absent. They had to wait until 9:30am when the OC came and finally the case was filed around 12:30pm. The victim was sent to hospital for the medical test a day later.
After hearing the petition, the High Court issued a rule on May 25, 2015, and passed its order on February 18, 2016.
The full text of the verdict was released on April 22, almost two years after the short verdict.
The court issued an 18-point directive over investigation into rape incidents and filing cases, asking police to following those until a specific law is formulated in this regard.
As per the directives, OCs of the police stations must record complaints of a rape victim, no matter wherever the incident takes place.
A server will have to set up immediately where victims can file their complaints and there will have to be a provision of taking legal actions against police members if they make delay in recording cases without any reason.
Every police station must keep a policewoman who will take the victim for health check-up and each police station must make a list of female social workers who will provide the victims with mental help and support.
The court also directed the Home Ministry, Women and Children Affairs Ministry and Law Ministry, and the inspector general of police to take steps for formulating a policy based on its recommendations, directives and observations.