Former Chief Justice of India JS Verma, who is heading the jurists panel that will recommend changes in criminal laws for making them effective in dealing with sexual assaults against women, has sought the views from all the chief ministers and chief justices of high courts on the subject.
The Justice Verma committee - set-up by the government on December 23 last year following widespread outrage on weak anti-rape laws following the gruesome rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in the capital-- includes former high court chief justice Leila Seth and former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium as its members.
The jurists panel, which is scheduled to submit its report during the last week of January, has invited suggestions till Saturday.
Justice Verma had written to the chief ministers and chief justices on December 28, asking for their suggestions on possible amendments in criminal law, to get the widest possible views on how to make the legal framework strong for the protection of women.
The view within the committee is that since law and order is a state subject and the implementation of laws is actually done by the states and the lower courts, their opinion is very important.
The panel has also included lack of sensitivity towards women in existing laws and superficial efforts by successive governments in its terms of reference and will review "gender justice and respect towards womanhood" in the country.
The panel is of the view that the entire effort of having stronger laws for protection of women would remain incomplete without plugging loopholes in the legal system, which lacks gender sensitivity and respect for women rights.