May 27, 2011




In a significant move and the first for the country, the state has decided to make forensic examination of sexual assault victims more victim-friendly. Apart from the sensitisation of the procedure, the state has also drawn seven detailed pro formas for the medical officers examining the victim and the accused.

The detailed pro formas which are a dramatic shift from the earlier 3-page pro forma, include recording the patient’s medical history, a list of specimen collection, opinion writing, and most importantly, a follow-up examination which will involve check-ups on the victim’s mental condition or whether she has contracted any sexually transmitted diseases, among other things.

“While the victim’s statement is given more weight, a medical report supports that evidence. The report is important in cases of both false implications and genuine cases. In case the victim turns hostile, the medical report can be used to nail the accused, like in the case of actor Shiney Ahuja,” said assistant public prosecutor, Lata Chedda who has handled many rape cases.

The eight-member committee, appointed by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) as per the orders of the Bombay high court, is chaired by Dr SD Nanadkar, head of Forensic Medicine at JJ Hospital. It includes Dr SM Patil, the chief surgeon of Nagpada Police Hospital, Dr Rekha Davar, head of obstetrics and gynaecology and Dr Nikhil Datar, honorary gynaecologist with Cooper Hospital. The committee submitted the new pro formas before the court on April 27.

“We will consent to the report and tell the court that it can be implemented. We also want the central government to implement these procedures,” said advocate Vijay Patait, who filed a PIL on the basis of a study by Dr Indrajit Khandekar, assistant professor of forensic medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Insitute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, pointing out the loopholes of medical examination of sexual assault victims. The next hearing is on June 6.

“Having a protocol will surely help. Currently, various people are doing these examinations according to their own set of rules and knowledge. This system, however, will have to be administered and audited well by the state,” said Dr Datar.
“The system of follow-up in particular will help recognise sexually transmitted diseases, mental trauma, and injuries that cannot be identified immediately after the assault. Also, this system will ensure the patient is jointly examined by the forensic expert and the gynaecologist,” said Dr Khandekar.

1. Detailed history taken in the victim’s words
2. Name of person accompanying the victim
3. List of 24 samples to be taken, as opposed to 8 in the old proforma
4. Purpose of sample collection explained clearly eg, vaginal swab should be
examined for seminal DNA, blood group
5. Injury details to be more descriptive
6. Additional tests for injuries that cannot be seen by the naked eye, such as
UV ray examination, colonoscopy and oblique analoscopy
7. Final report pending follow – up examination and forensic reports


Times of India

25 yrs’ RI for Dutch child sex abuser - First Conviction Under Amended IT Act

Chennai: Wilhelmus Weijdeveld, a 58-year old Dutch national arrested on charges of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography in November 2009, was on Thursday convicted and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment by a fast-track court here. But he will serve 10 years as the sentences run concurrently. This is probably the first case of arrest and conviction in the country under the amended Information Technology Act, 2008.

Weijdeveld, who has been living in India for more than three decades, was arrested in Choolaimedu on November 6, 2009, based on an Interpol alert that he was uploading child pornography from the city. Later, he came out on bail as the police failed to file the chargesheet within the stipulated time. But he was soon taken into custody under the Foreigners Act and lodged in a special cell at Chengalpattu.

Fast-track court-IV judge K Anbazhagan on Thursday convicted and sentenced him to undergo 10 years imprisonment each under Sections 367 (kidnapping) and 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC and five years under Section 67B (publishing of material depicting children in sexually explicit acts in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act. The judge, however, said the convict could undergo the three jail terms concurrently. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the convict.

“It is the result of great team work. We painstakingly gathered foolproof evidence. Though it started as a technology crime, investigations revealed that he was also sexually abusing children,” additional DCP M Sudhakar, who probed the case, told TOI.



Four Bandra schoolboys held guilty of gang rape

Mumbai: The four juvenile boys, who attended St Catherine of Siena school, Bandra, and were accused of raping an eight-year-old girl in the school premises, have been held guilty. The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) held them guilty under section 376 (2) (g) of the Indian Penal Code.

The order, which stated that peer pressure and early exposure to sexuality led the juveniles to rape, pronounced on Tuesday. Principal magistrate of JJB SC Khalipa directed that the boys be sent to the Don Bosco High School in Calanguta Bardez, Goa.
Khalipa said, "The boys should be released forthwith and given to the Special Juvenile Police Unit, which will take them to the Don Bosco High School." The school is believed to have assured proper care and security for the boys.

The Bandra police, which had registered an FIR against the boys in April, were looked at with great suspicion having accused juveniles of rape with no supporting medical evidence. However, the police seemed content with the inquiry after the JJB too upheld the guilty plea of the boys as voluntary. "We had to face criticism from various circles during the investigation. However, the board's decision has proved that the police's thinking was right," said senior inspector Samad Sheikh.

The JJB had earlier ordered that the boys be counselled on sexuality, self-control and legal laws by the NGO Aangan during their stay in the observation home from April 5.The counselling reportedly revealed several other gory realities of the shelter.

Sources said, the boys have named a caretaker at the shelter and accused him of showing blue films. They also complained about the behaviour of another staff member who was seen "misbehaving with the female staff."

The boys revealed names of some elder boys in the shelter who allegedly abused and assaulted them. They questioned that when there were others indulging in similar acts at the shelter why were they the only ones to be caught.
JJB has asked the police to probe these allegations.

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