HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

'Few Verma panel suggestions outside govt mandate'

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 03, 2013
First Published: 23:42 IST(3/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:31 IST(4/2/2013)

The government has stated that some of the recommendations made by the Justice JS Verma panel for making anti-rape laws stronger are way outside its mandate, but has agreed to get them examined by the ministries concerned. 


An internal note circulated by the home and law ministries to other ministries and departments has divided the panel's recommendations into two parts - those dealing with changes in criminal laws according to its terms of reference and "general suggestions" on other issues.

"The Justice Verma committee has made a number of recommendations relating to its terms of reference as well as outside it. Those on policy and administrative measures will be referred to the ministries concerned for appropriate action," the note states.

The Union cabinet on Friday cleared an ordinance accepting some of the key recommendations by the panel to make anti-rape laws stronger, but also rejected some of its suggestions - including making marital rape a crime and negating the immunity accorded to security personnel allegedly involved in sexual offences.

Faced with the urgency of bringing an ordinance to make changes in criminal laws, the government has revealed its cards on the extent to which it was willing to accept the Justice Verma panel's recommendations on women-friendly laws.

The next challenge would pertain to the manner in which it should respond to recommendations made by the panel on a number of issues ranging from electoral, police and education sector reforms to changes in existing laws on prevention of sexual harassment and sexual offences against children.

"The amendment of electoral laws will be examined by the ministry of law and justice. Likewise, changes recommended in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, will be examined by the ministry of women and child development," the note states.

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