The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Amendment relief for rape victims

New Delhi: The Cabinet on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Evidence Act of 1872, in a decision that would go a long way in sparing a rape victim further humiliation in court, reports our special correspondent.

From now on, it will not be permissible to cross-examine a victim on her “immoral” character which defence lawyers have been doing to “justify” the assault.

“Loose character” has been an oft-used adjective to portray victims to establish a link between her behaviour and the offence. The women’s relationships with other men are then brought out as evidence against her.

Since the early 1980s, women’s groups have been asking the government to amend the law and stop such “unrestrained questioning” that can destroy a victim’s reputation and self-respect. Women’s groups and the Law Commission agreed that there was no reasonable connection between a sexual assault and the character of a victim.

Scotland Yard post-blast tips

New Delhi: London’s metropolitan police, New Scotland Yard, is in the country to impart specialised training on handling bomb blasts scenes to officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation, paramilitary forces and police personnel, reports our special correspondent.

The first batch’s five-day training that New Scotland Yard terms “bomb-scene management” started yesterday at the CBI Academy in Ghaziabad.

It aims at creating forensic awareness among investigating agencies to help them carry out searches of buildings, vehicles and other objects with greater precision, said a CBI release.

New Scotland Yard sleuths would impart training on how to handle hi-tech equipment to examine the finer points of criminal cases. The role of close-circuit televisions in probing terrorist activities, too, would be showcased to policemen.

The first course is being attended by 15 officers from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa, said an official release.

Eight CBI officers are also undergoing the training. Officers of the ranks between sub-inspectors and superintendents of police have been selected as it is mostly them who visit the blast spots.

British officer in visa row

London (PTI): A British immigration officer was suspended pending an inquiry into charges that he wooed an Indian woman seeking a visa and work permit and fathered her child.

A home office spokeswoman said Paul Margison,37, was put under suspension on Monday and an investigation was launched into his alleged relationship with Rekha Taneja of Jalandhar.

Rekha came to Birmingham in 1997 and was issued a one-year visa. She moved to London and applied for fresh documents and developed a relationship with Margison during their processing.

Woman set on fire

Mumbai (PTI): A woman was set on fire by a man, after she turned down his marriage proposal. The accused had approached Hanifa Sheikh several times. On Monday, he, along with two others, went to Hanifa’s house and pressurised her again. When she did not relent, he set her on fire.

Uranium theft

Hyderabad (PTI): Seized uranium stored in the central crime station of the police was found missing, the police said. The uranium pertained to a case registered in 2000, following a complaint that uranium meant for treating cancer was missing from a city cancer hospital.

Conversion Bill

Chennai (PTI): Dalit and minority organisations will take out a rally to Raj Bhavan on December 9 to protest against Tamil Nadu’s anti-conversion law. Puthiya Tamizhagam president K. Krishnaswamy said these organisations also passed a resolution demanding immediate repeal of the law.

Space station

Mumbai (PTI): The International Space Station will be visible over Mumbai between November 19 and 29, according to Nehru Planetarium sources. The world’s first ISS will orbit over Mumbai and will be visible for some days in the morning and on other days in the evening.

Roof collapse

Chennai (PTI): Over 30 children were hurt when a classroom ceiling fell on them at CSI School in Korukkupet.

Students of S.K.A. Matriculation School in Andipatti will write their dreams on a Childrens’ Day greeting card measuring 815 feet and send it to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The “dreams” of the children’s vision of India will be written as poetry or prose.

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