Women's rights activists, politicians laud Justice Verma Committee report
Several women's rights activists and political leaders, particularly from the Congress Party, hailed the recommendations of the Committee headed by Justice J. S. Verma to review prevailing laws against sexual crimes.
Mamta Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), expressed hope that the recommendations would usher a positive change if implemented.
"If the provisions of the report are implemented, it will definitely be effective. But, these things require political will. Only then can women feel safe," aid Sharma.
However, she said that it was unfortunate that the police chiefs of various states had not sent in their recommendations in spite of the invitations extended to them by the committee.
Krishna Tirath, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, said: "As far as implementation is concerned, community participation is necessary to uproot a social evil, where NGOs should also be involved. I have a scheme where girls will be empowered with special training."
"However, there is a need to change the mindset of men and boys, and to that end we will be coming out with an action-plan very soon," she added.
She also noted that as far as the national capital was concerned, its police force would be reinforced with women being added to its strength.
Praising the committee report, women's rights activist Ranjana Kumari said that now the people will have to pressurise the government to implement it.
"Even he (Justice Verma) is not sure that the government will take action on basis of their recommendations. The suggestion regarding a comprehensive law is one of the most important point. I don't know the government will take it seriously or not," she said.
Earlier in the day, the three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India, J. S. Verma, comprising former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanian and Justice (Retired.) Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, submitted its report to the Home Ministry.
The nation-wide movement demanding amendment of the laws regarding crimes against women in the wake of the brutal gang rape and death of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi on December 16, forced the Government constitute the committee.
The gang raped woman died of her injuries on December 29, 2012 in the multi-specialty Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
The committee had earlier issued a notice seeking suggestions from the public in general, particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women's groups and civil society members in a bid to provide quicker justice and stringent punishment for crimes against women.