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Sexual assault: Government to seek quicker trial

Posted on Dec 24, 07:44PM | IBNS

The government on Monday said it has decided to constitute a committee of eminent jurists to look into possible amendments to the criminal law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals, accused of committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women.

In the light of the recent Delhi gangrape incident, the government has given anxious consideration to the need for reviewing the present laws so as to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

"The recent incident of rape and brutal assault on a young woman in Delhi has shaken the conscience of the nation and has triggered a serious debate amongst jurists, civil society members and women's groups about inadequacy of the present laws to protect the safety and dignity of women," said the MHA in a statement on Monday.

"The Government has given anxious consideration to the need for reviewing the present laws so as to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault.

"For that purpose, a Committee has been constituted by the Union Government on 23.12.2012 under the Chairmanship of Justice (Retd.) Shri J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of India. The other two Members are - (i) Justice Smt. Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court (ii) Shri Gopal Subramanian, former Solicitor General of India, former Chairman of Bar Council of India and eminent Jurist," it said.

The committee shall submit its report within 30 days.

The MHA requested the public in general and particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women's groups and civil society members to share with this Committee their views, knowledge and experience suggesting possible amendments in the criminal laws and other relevant laws to provide for quicker investigation, prosecution and trial as also enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women.

"The suggestions can be sent by e-mail to justice.verma@nic.in or through fax at 011-23092675," said the ministry.

"The suggestions should be sent by January 05, 2013 so as to enable the committee to complete its task and give its report with necessary recommendations within the available time," it said.