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- File an FIR (they CANNOT refuse)
- Investigation (document & evidence collection)
- Chargesheet (filing of the final report)
- Court Hearing
How to file a complaint
- Most police stations have a ‘Rapid Response Desk for Women, Children and Senior Citizens’ where at least one lady officer is seated at all times. The victim must approach the officials at this desk. In the off-chance that such a desk is not accessible, the victim may approach the officer on duty.
- Incase there is no lady officer, a lady constable is called to take the statement; incase the latter in also unavailable a lady representative from an NGO is called.
- Officers cannot refuse to file an FIR under any circumstances. A statement will be recorded in the FIR according to the victim’s narration of the incident, in Hindi, English or Marathi. In most cases, the recording officer will translate the statement to Marathi and fill up the FIR form. On the basis of this statement the sections of offence are determined.
- The police station that registers the complaint forwards the details to the police station nearest to where the crime was committed (if the two are not the same) and they take over.
- An investigation is initiated and varies from case to case depending on eye witnesses and the amount of information provided by the victim, after which an arrest is made. Police officers may accompany the victim in civil clothes in an effort to arrest the accused in the act.
- Police stations cannot grant bail to such an offender. The courts, however, can grant a conditioned bail under which the accused is to keep away from the victim.
- After an arrest, a charge sheet is made and sent to the court. The accused is to be produced before a court of law within a period of 24 hours. This entire procedure takes up a maximum time period of up to 3 months. The Investigation Officer (IO) stays the same throughout the period of the case. Incase of transfer or retirement, a new IO is handed over the case. During court hearings, regardless of retirement or transfer: all the IO’s dealing with the case must appear before the court to give their statement. The case is fought by the lawyers towards a verdict