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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

‘Callous’ response of states irks Verma panel

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 15, 2013
First Published: 23:45 IST(15/1/2013) | Last Updated: 10:39 IST(16/1/2013)

Justice Verma panel has found the suggestions made by some of the states, high courts and even human rights organisations as "casual".

 

The panel, headed by former Chief Justice of India JS Verma, with former high court Chief Justice Leila Seth and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium as its members, has however, found some of the suggestions to be “exceptionally good and extremely helpful”.

The jurists' panel, which was set-up by the government on December 23 following widespread protests in the aftermath of a brutal gang rape in the capital, is likely to overhaul the criminal laws (amendment) bill, introduced by the government in Lok Sabha last month. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/1/16_01_13-metro11.jpg

“The spontaneous public anger reflected a multi-pronged failure ranging from the absence of an effective law enforcing mechanism to prevent heinous crimes against women to a faulty legal framework which was allowed to linger for decades," said an official assisting the panel.

Of the 60,000 suggestions received by the panel, not many talk of concrete moves that can be taken to address the issue.

"The intent is definitely there, but majority of states, high courts and others who have sent their views seem to have followed the beaten track in the sense of having suggested reactive measures in a casual manner," said the official.

The panel is also of the view that some of the NGOs appeared to have become a part of the clamour to send suggestions with a view "of merely joining the chorus of having contributed their bit in having strong anti-rape laws, but unfortunately it turned out to be a formality."

The jurists panel is ready to give a limited hearing to women groups and other organisations which have repeatedly requested for face-to-face hearing with it. It is also reviewing the present laws of acid attacks against women and other major problems faced by them in daily lives like stalking and molestation.

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