Jayalalithaa wants deterrent laws for rape cases
Expressing shock over the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in New Delhi earlier this month, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said that deterrent laws need to be put in place and the period of investigation and trial has to be shortened so that justice is meted out swiftly.
"The incident you are referring to took place in Delhi. It is the most shocking crime. And there is no doubt that deterrent laws need to be put in place and the period of investigation and trial has to be shortened so that justice is meted out swiftly; only that will act as a deterrent to such crimes in the future," Jayalalithaa told mediapersons here after her return from Ahmedabad.
"The police are acting immediately on receiving the complaints," she added, when asked to comment on the recent reports of rape in Tamil Nadu.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram earlier in the day said that a commission, headed by retired Justice Usha Mehra, would probe the Delhi gang-rape case and submit its report in three months.
"The commission headed by former High Court judge Usha Mehra will identify the lapses and may also come up with an interim report if necessary," Chidambaram told mediapersons in New Delhi.
Chidambaram said that the commission would fix responsibility in the case and look into any negligence on part of the Delhi Police.
"The commission has been also tasked to suggest measures on security and safety of women in the country, especially in the Delhi-NCR region," said Chidambaram.
"Whatever we are doing now is only intended to demonstrate the government's serious intent in the matter -- that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators. We will try and find out what went wrong and fix responsibility. We will also amend the laws as deemed necessary," he added.
Emphasizing that the Congress-led UPA Government was serious about ensuring the safety of women across India, Chidambaram said: "We are serious about finding lasting solutions to women's safety issue."
Chidambaram expressed sympathy with the gang-rape survivor's family on the Centre's behalf.
"Our prayers are with the family of the victim," he said. The Finance Minister also appealed to everyone to stay calm.
"We are trying to find a lasting solution to the problem," he added.
Asserting that the government has 'serious intent' to address the broader issue of security of women in the country and provide for more stern punishment for such crimes, the Finance Minister expressed his gratitude to Delhi High Court Chief Justice D. Murugesan for announcing the setting up of fast-track courts from January 3.
Meanwhile, the condition of the gang-rape victim presently being treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi continues to be critical.