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NHRC issues SOP for forensic evidence collection in sexual assault cases

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Guidelines embody taking knowledgeable consent of sufferer, preserving samples accurately.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a typical working process (SOP) for correct collection and dealing with of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases, after it noticed that many cases don’t finish in convictions as a result of insufficient scientific evidence.

The NHRC stated in a press release on Wednesday that it had issued the SOP to all of the States and Union Territories (UTs) “in order to ensure effective prosecution leading to conviction in cases of sexual assault on women”. The doc was ready after consulting medical consultants and despatched to the States and UTs for implementation, it stated.

The SOP, which was despatched to the States and UTs on December 9 by NHRC secretary basic Bimbadhar Pradhan, covers sufferer care, collection of samples and handing over samples to the forensic science laboratories by medical doctors.

“The Commission has come out with this SOP after it observed that in many cases of alleged rape and sexual assault, there is substantial delay in medical examination, collection and processing of scientific/forensic evidences of the victim of sexual assault. The exhibits are forwarded to the FSL after much delay and by that time, the samples deteriorate/autolyse and become unsuitable for examination. This delay adversely affects the investigation for effective prosecution leading to conviction,” the assertion stated.

The SOP states that the id of the survivor should be saved confidential and the precedence ought to be to deal with life-threatening accidents earlier than collection of evidence. The examination ought to be carried out in privateness and safety and the survivor’s knowledgeable, written and verbal consent, together with at completely different factors of the method, ought to be taken.

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