Dhaka – Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has asked the authorities concerned to engage female magistrates to record testimonies of the sexual assault victims.
The court in a circular issued on Tuesday came up with the direction on the heels of a controversy over taking deposition of a sexual assault victim by a police officer, who later posted the video on social media sites, in eastern Feni district. The victim was eventually burnt to death allegedly by the accomplishes of the accused and the officer faced a lawsuit.
“Special Committee for Judicial Reforms has learned that in many cases, testimonies of rape or other sexual assault victim children and women are being recorded by male magistrates,” said the court circular.
Women or children rape or other sexual assault victims hesitate to narrate their ordeal to a male magistrate, added the circular signed by Supreme Court Registrar General Md Zakir Hossain.
To tackle such situation, a female magistrate is essential to record the testimony of rape or other sexual assault victim children or woman, so that they can narrate the sufferings they have been through easily and without hesitation, the court said.
In absence of any female magistrate, the responsibility can be given to any other qualified magistrate, it added.