Activists, politicians praise recommendations on women's safety
Women rights activists and several Indian leaders, particularly those from the ruling Congress party, praised the recommendations of Justice Jagdish Sharan Verma judicial panel formed to review prevailing Indian laws vis-a-vis sex crimes.
In the aftermath of the December 16, 2012, gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi, the Congress-led UPA government had constituted the three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India, Justice JS Verma, to suggest amendment to provide speedy justice and tougher laws for crimes against women.
The committee had issued a notice inviting suggestions from the public, eminent jurists, legal professionals, non-governmental organisations, women's groups and civil society members to provide speedy justice and stern punishments for crimes against women.
The recommendations touched a wide range of issues, counselling the need for better policing, enhanced safety in public transport, the importance of education to erode a diseased mindset that condoned such crimes, and also better-defined laws against marital rape and child sexual abuse.
The Chairperson National Commission for Women (NCW), Mamta Sharma, said the Justice Verma Committee recommendations could usher a positive change.
"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," she said.
Communities play an important role in securing women's safety, said Krishna Tirath, Union Minister of Women and Child Development.
"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 explained.
The victim of the Delhi gang rape died a fortnight after the incident, galvanising protests that grew in intensity across the country.