New BNSS 2023: Doctors asked to conduct medical examination of rape victims without delay

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) department has  directed all doctors to conduct medical examinations of rape or attempted rape victims under the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023.

It has asked all government and private doctors as well as registered medical practitioners.

A notification issued by Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the H&FW department, Shalini Pandit, outlines provisions under Section 184 of the BNSS, 2023. It mandates that any woman who is a victim of rape or attempted rape must be examined by a doctor or medical practitioner from any hospital, whether public or private, with the woman’s consent or the consent of a competent person on her behalf.

“Under Section 184 of the BNSS, 2023, every victim woman with whom rape is alleged or attempted to have been committed or attempted shall be examined by a doctor/medical practitioner of the hospitals, public or private, whether run by the Central government, state government, local bodies or any other person with the consent of such woman or any person competent to give such consent on her behalf,” read the notification issued by Commissioner-cum-Secretary, H&FW department, Shalini Pandit.

It further said that the medical practitioners now required to prioritize the examination of rape and attempted rape victims. “Any victim of rape against whom rape is alleged or attempted to have been committed or attempted, produced before the doctor by a police officer shall be medically examined forthwith without any undue delay. The delay, if any and the reasons thereof shall be mentioned in the register and in the examination report. The exact time of commencement and completion of the examination shall also be noted in the report,” it further stated.

The doctors have also been asked to issue medical examination reports of the rape victims within seven days as per the provision of the new law.

“Sec. 53(3) of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 also provides to furnish medical examination report to the arrested person or any person nominated by such arrested person, after the medical examination by the examining doctor. Non-compliance of the above legal provisions may entail in legal prosecution,” it added.