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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Delhi rape: Verma panel report to be made public

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 23, 2013
First Published: 00:23 IST(23/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:56 IST(23/1/2013)

The Delhi Police, the Delhi government and some central departments are likely to face the flak in Justice Verma two-volume report. The report will be submitted to the home ministry and will be made public on Wednesday.

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Exactly a month after it was set up, 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, is set to recommend updating criminal laws to make them women-friendly.

It is learnt to have concluded that effective enforcement of laws has to be ensured along with making fresh changes in them.

The panel had received nearly 80,000 suggestions and heard the views of more than 100 representatives of different organisations on how to make the legal framework stronger to deter heinous crimes against women.

The panel members are understood to be “extremely unhappy” with the general style of functioning of the Delhi Police, its lack of coordination with the city government and attempts by multiple political authorities to control it.

Though Justice Verma had refused to look into alleged lapses on the police’s part in the case, his report is likely to make strong observations against the police force.

The change happened on account of strong views expressed by various women groups on how the entire case was handled and brutalities inflicted on young protesters.

The report, authored with active support from a team of 20 young lawyers, is set to cite women-friendly laws in major democracies and compare them with Indian laws to argue for more “gender sensitive” laws in the country.

The panel is in favour of having a mandatory time period for completion of trials in cases of sexual assaults and also for disposal of appeals in higher courts.

It also wants such cases to be tried in designated courts with preferably women judges to decide them.


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