A judicial commission will probe the Dec 16 gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a bus in Delhi and any police lapses and suggest ways to make the city safer for women, it was announced on Wednesday.
The panel will be headed by retired Delhi high court judge Usha Mehra, finance minister P Chidambaram said after a cabinet meeting.
The report is to be submitted in three months, he said.
"The steps are being taken with the serious intent to find a lasting solution to the problem (of rape) that plagues all metros and other towns of India... That it is happening in Delhi is a matter of shame," Chidambaram said.
"The commission of inquiry will look into the incident, identify lapses on the part of police or any other authority and fix responsibility for such lapses and negligence," he added.
The panel would also suggest measures to improve the security of women in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), he added.
Chidambaram said the steps were intended to demonstrate the government's serious intent in the matter, "that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators and try and find out what went wrong; what was the negligence if any; and fix responsibility and amend the laws."
The finance minister said the government was also open to suggestions from women over the security measures.
Appealing to people to observe restraint and patience, Chidambaram said: "The government is very sad at the turn of events, and is taking all measures needed to bring it to a conclusion, and how to make the city and country more safe for women."
To a question, Chidambaram said the panel report would be placed before Parliament with an action taken report. "We are legally obliged to take action on the report," he said.