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State Women’s Commission condemns Verma committee report

New Delhi, Jan 26 ():Claiming that there is nothing new in the report submitted by the Justice Verma committee, State Women’s Commission chairperson C Manjula admitted that the report appears to be more academic.

To assess rape laws there should be a holistic approach, stated the Women’s Commission chairperson adding that the report needs to be worked once again besides discussing in the Parliament.

In response to the statement made by the Delhi gang-rape victim’s friend who said that they were made to suffer for nearly forty minutes by the police discussing about the jurisdiction, Manjula said that all the police stations without raising question on jurisdiction, must be made to receive the complaints first.

Asserting that there is a need to raise the number of police officers as well as constables in stations, Manjula stated that life imprisonment must be imposed to those who indulge in crime against women like rape in police station, hospital, jail and other places.

The panel which was headed by Chief Justice of India JS Verma included Justice (Retd) Leila Seth and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanian. The three-member committee was formed by the government to suggest tougher laws for crimes against women following the brutal gang rape of 23 year old woman in a moving bus on December 16, who passed away in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.

The Committee which submitted its report on January 23, suggested life imprisonment for gang-rape offenders instead of sentencing them to death penalty. Urging the requirement of judicial reform, Manjula said, judicial officers must try to handle cases with sensitization in addition to speedy trial of rape cases.

Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay extended her support to the Verma Committee report saying that the report submitted by the three-member panel which avoided death penalty and any lowering of the age of juvenile perpetrators has recommended appropriately heavy prison sentences ranging from seven years to life imprisonment. She said that she salutes Justice Verma and his panel who produced such a systematic report so quickly.

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