Rape law: Justice Verma panel submits recommendations to govt | Deccan Chronicle
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Rape law: Justice Verma panel submits recommendations to govt

Agencies | 23rd Jan 2013


New Delhi: A government commission tasked with looking at sex crime laws after the gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus submitted its recommendations to the government on Wednesday.

Addressing the reporters after submitting the report, Justice Jagdish Sharan Verma said, "We received 80,000 recommendations in total. Every recommendation from public was read, none ignored."

The former CJI slammed the government saying that 'Bad governance is the root cause for crime against women and there is no need for new laws'.

Justice Verma also attacked the police and called for immediate action on police reforms. "We have recommended for review of appointment of DGPs (in the report). There was hardly any response from state DGPs to the panel," Verma added.

The panel also added that it got 'lukewarm reponses' from ministries.

The three-member commission led by Justice Verma handed over its recommendations to the government, which faced violent protests following the fatal gang-rape on December 16.

"The report will be submitted to the home ministry today and the committee members will give details of their recommendations to the media," ministry spokesman Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia told reporters earlier in the day.

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

The panel was formed in late December amid demands for greater protection for women after the brutal assault of a 23-year-old student by six rapists after she boarded a bus in New Delhi with a male friend.

India's 153-year-old penal code stipulates rapists should serve a minimum of seven years in prison and a maximum of life, while gang-rape convicts face a minimum term of 10 years and life imprisonment.

Reports say Congress party has suggested the death penalty for rapists in exceptional cases, while ‘chemical castration’ – using drugs to eliminate sex drive – has also been raised.

The government, which has announced new ‘fast-track’ courts to speed up notoriously slow justice system and efforts to boost the number of women police officers, has declined to comment on the panel's work.

Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday condemned the ‘shameful’ social attitudes that she said led to crimes like gang-rape. The case had ‘shaken the entire country’, she added.


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