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‘Sign language expert must while questioning diff-abled’
It has been mandated under the CrPC that a special educator and sign language interpreter must be used whenever an investigation is taken up or when a statement is recorded in cases of sexual abuse of a person with disability. But, none of it was adhered to in the case of the minor girl who was raped by 18 men in Ayanavaram, alleged members of the December 3 Movement.
Stating that it was an amendment brought after the 2012 Delhi bus rape case, T M N Deepak, of the organisation said, “The UPA-2 government had formed the Justice Verma Commission, which recommended some changes in the criminal procedure, which were subsequently altered by a Parliament amendment.
The amendments clearly state — whenever a person with disability, especially a disabled woman, makes a phone call to complain of sexual harassment, it must be directly attended and recorded.
It also states that a special educator and sign language interpreter must be used whenever an investigation is taken up or when a statement is observed.”
Besides, no one from the Disability Commissioner’s office was involved in the case. “They did not even step in. The Revenue Department is duty bound to work on it.
The state commissioner for protection of child rights has not worked with the Disability Commissioner’s office in this aspect,” said Saravanan, a member of the movement, which is a group of persons with disabilities who fight for the rights of the disabled. He said that not only did the police not appoint a sign language interpreter during the investigation, they failed to intimate the Child Welfare Committee too. “If they do not have an interpreter themselves, they are bound to inform the CWC.
However, that was not done in this case,” he added. However, a senior police official said, “As she can hear with the help of a hearing aid and communicate (in Tamil), we did not require an interpreter. Her voice was not clear, but she was able to converse clearly.”