Rape survivor’s right to privacy cornerstone of civilized society: HC

KOLKATA: The proper to privateness and dignity of each particular person, notably of a sexual assault survivor, was the “cornerstone of a civilized society”, the Calcutta excessive court docket mentioned on Thursday and penalised the officers-in-charge (OCs) of two metropolis police stations for crossing the road.
“The investigating company, which is duty-bound to protect, shield and champion the basic proper of privateness of the sufferer, seems to have encroached upon it themselves. The factual background reveals brazen disregard for the rule of regulation, privateness and dignity of a sufferer of sexual assault,” a division bench of Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Gaurang Kanth mentioned.
The court docket advised the OCs of Lake and Narendrapur police stations to offer a written apology to a sexual abuse survivor and requested every of them to pay her a notional compensation of Rs 5,000 from their very own pockets for making post-midnight WhatsApp calls and turning up at her dwelling at 2am. Terming these actions “excesses”, the judges mentioned the officers had violated the survivor’s basic proper to privateness.

Instances View

Any interplay of policemen with a sexual assault survivor ought to be marked by empathy. On this case, it appeared extra like harassment. The callous perspective of the cops has been rightly known as out by the court docket. Hopefully, the lesson might be learnt.

The division bench, which took up the matter suo motu, mentioned it was passing the order to “uphold the rights of privateness and dignity” of the survivor.
“No police officer, except persuaded by extraordinarily compelling circumstances referring to safety of life and security of the sufferer, shall take recourse to measures like midnight calls/visits, which might affect the privateness, dignity and respect of the sufferer in her social environment,” the bench noticed.
On this case, the Narendrapur police tried to name the survivor over WhatsApp at night time after which went to her dwelling at 2am to tell her concerning the date of her deposition earlier than a judicial Justice of the Peace. The excessive court docket noticed that the survivor appeared to have been “unnecessarily harassed within the guise of investigation”.

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