Delhi gang rape: crime that jolted judicial system, forced a rethink | india | Hindustan Times
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Delhi gang rape: crime that jolted judicial system, forced a rethink

india Updated: Dec 15, 2013 20:12 IST
Satya Prakash
December 16 gang rape case


Seldom does a crime lead to far-reaching changes in laws and the judicial system, but the December 16 gang rape managed that and more.

The crime made India tighten its rape laws, while shaking up the existing order.

As thousands came out on the streets in Delhi following the brutal assault on a 23-year-old paramedical student and her death 13 days later, India's judicial system, often criticised for moving at a snail's pace, was forced to rethink.

Within days, then Chief Justice of India Altmas Kabir asked all high courts to fast-track cases related to crimes against women.

Six fast-track courts were set up in Delhi to exclusively try cases of sexual offence against women.

The Delhi high court issued directions to all additional sessions judges that cases of sexual assault on women be tried on a day-to-day basis.

It started monitoring progress of cases relating to sexual violence against women.

The HC also initiated the Vulnerable Witness Project under which victims and witnesses in sexual assault cases could depose in special courtrooms without having to face the accused.

A Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complex, the first of its kind in South Asia, has started functioning at Karkardooma Courts in Delhi.

The HC directed the Union home ministry to increase the number of police control room (PCR) vans in the capital.

It ordered the Delhi Police to intensify the crackdown on vehicles with tinted glass, black films and curtains. The paramedical student was brutalised in a bus with tinted glass.

The HC also passed an order that even private hospitals could not refuse to admit victims of crimes such as rapes and road accidents.

Refusal to treat such victims can lead to cancellation of registration of hospitals.

The order was passed because it was widely reported that the paramedical student could have been saved had the police admitted her in a medical facility closer than Safdarjung Hospital.