Justice Verma Committee submits report on law against sexual assaults on women

New Delhi, January 23, 2013: More than a month after the December 16 gangrape of a para-medical student in Delhi shook the entire nation and led to widespread protests, a three-member panel set up by the government to look into women's safety has submitted its report to the Union Home Ministry.

Justice J S Verma says, "There is a need to change the society's mindset do away with gender bias.

The Justice Verma Committee was constituted to look at existing legislation and suggest changes to check crimes against women.

While reviewing the laws, the panel had also sought suggestions from the public.

Among the issues the panel is reported to have looked at, include enhanced punishment for those who were involved in sexual crimes of extreme nature.

Judge Verma received thousands of suggestions after he set 5th January as a deadline for comments from jurists, women's groups and other forums to revamp existing legislation to deal with sex offenders.

Among other parties, the Congress had suggested to the Verma Committee that rapists should be given a maximum of life sentence and capital punishment must be reserved only for rarest of rare cases.

Justice J S Verma committee has received around 80,000 suggestions and wrapped up its work within 29 days.

Verma, the head of the three-member panel, was approached by the Central government for the task on December 23.

The other members of the panel are former Himachal Pradesh Chief Justice Leila Seth and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam.

He said the failure of governance was the root cause of crime against women.

He also said it was "equally shocking" that there was total apathy of everyone who had a duty to perform.

"We have submitted the report in 29 days. When I offered to do the work within 30 days, I did not realise the magnitude of the work," Verma told a press conference after submitting his voluminous report to the Home Ministry.

On how he decided on a time frame for finalising the report, Verma said when a senior Cabinet Minister approached him on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he asked him when is the next session of Parliament.

He complimented the youth for the mature response.

"Youth has taught us what we, the older generation, were not aware of. I was struck by the peaceful manner in which the protests were carried out...the youth rose to the occasion," he said.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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