Union law minister Dr Ashwani Kumar said here on Saturday that the union cabinet had approved the promulgation of an ordinance introducing harsher jail terms for crimes against women, including death penalty in extreme cases of sexual assault.
Addressing a press conference at his residence, Kumar said the ordinance had been sent to the President for approval. He said it was likely to assume the shape of law after being passed in the next session of Parliament. He claimed that this ordinance would instil a feeling of security in all the citizens, especially women.
Kumar said the UPA government had taken a serious view of crimes against women and passed the ordinance barely a week after receiving the report of the Justice JS Verma committee. He said the ordinance on crimes against women also had sufficient clauses to prevent its misuse.
The law minister advocated a fast-track system for trials so as to deliver justice at the grassroots level. He said that 1,800 new judges would be recruited soon, in addition to the existing 18,000 judges in the country.
Kumar said that in order to strengthen the judicial system in states, he had been holding meetings with their chief ministers. He said he had already met the chief ministers of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Jharkhand and discussed the issue of raising the number of judges in their states, for which the central government would contribute the requisite funds ranging from 75-90%.
Kumar said the union law ministry would also bring a Bill on the prevention of torture in the coming session of Parliament. He said that the UPA government fully honoured human rights and would not allow their violation in any form.
It was Kumar's maiden visit to his hometown Gurdaspur after assuming the office of union law minister. He was accorded a warm welcome by his supporters at 22 places from Verka to Gurdaspur.
Addressing a gathering at his residence, Kumar thanked the people for their support. He said he would do his best to ensure the overall development of Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.