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Rape: Justice Verma submits report

Posted on Jan 23, 05:23PM | IBNS

The Justice Verma Committee, that was formed by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to suggest stringent laws for crimes against women, submitted its recommendations on Wednesday, acknowledging the contributions of all sections, including people and bodies from abroad.

The three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma submitted its report to the government a month after it was formed following a national outrage over the gangrape of a 23-year-old medical student in a Delhi bus on Dec 16.

Justice Verma said he was moved by the mature response of the youth of the country who led the movement peacefully and was overwhelmed by the inputs from abroad even in some cases without asking.

"It was humbling experience for all of us who are of an older generation," he said referring to the maturity and endeavour of the youths.

About 80,000 recommendations were received by the committee.

He the report was completed ahead of time in just one month so that the government with all its resources is prompted to take it up in next session of Parliament in February.

He praised all while also not sparing some government agencies for their lukewarm and later responses.

He also blamed on lack of good governance that led to such sexual attacks.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had requested the public in general and particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women's groups and civil society members to share with the 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.

According to reports, the ruling Congress has suggested the committee that rapists should be given life imprisonment and death sentence should be reserved only for rarest of rare cases.

Justice Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanian, are the other two members of the committee.

On Dec 16, the six gangraped and brutalised the 23-year-old girl with an iron rod on a moving bus. The victim succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on Dec 29.

The incident triggered nationwide outrage against rising cases of rape and brutalization of women in India with people pouring into the streets of New Delhi for days and demanding a change of law and strict punishment of the accused.