India presented another side at UN meet
The government may have promptly accepted the demand for changes in criminal laws following outrage over the gangrape of 23 year-old student in the Capital, but last year it had flatly rejected similar recommendations made by the UN human rights body.
The recommendations, made by the United Nations Human Rights Council, as part of India's Universal Periodic Review - done every four years - included making effective laws to curb sexual violence against women.
Of the 45 recommendations related to betterment of women and children made by the UNHRC, the government accepted only 22. This exercise was carried out between May and October last year.
The government did not specify the reasons for rejecting the UN rights body's recommendations, but in its presentation before the working groups at Geneva, it had argued that efforts to ensure safety of women were on.
The UN, however, was not impressed.
In its critique of the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill - now pending before Parliament - it noted: "The bill has fatal infirmities. While it expands the definition of rape, it has introduced a highly problematic gender neutral definition. It seeks to make the perpetrator of sexual assault gender neutral in non-custodial situations, despite no empirical data for this."
The recommendations not accepted by the government included, "comprehensive legislation on fighting all forms of sexual harassment in relation to women and children, and implementation of a national human rights plan for concrete measures to eliminate violence against women."