Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has assured various political parties that the government has given “anxious consideration” to the need for reviewing laws for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault, officials said.
The assurance came in his letter urging the parties to send their views on the issue to the Justice JS Verma Committee, said official sources, adding the letter was signed by Shinde yesterday and later sent to leaders of political parties.
Shinde wrote that the government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of the former chief justice of India to look into the possible amendments to the criminal law so as to provide for quicker trial and punishment for criminals, accused of committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women.
The letter said that the committee has been made fully operational and has already issued public notice inviting suggestions from people, eminent jurists, legal professionals, women’s groups and civil society members.
“I shall be grateful if you could forward your views on the issue to the committee so that it can consider them while making their recommendations. I would urge you to communicate your views as early as possible as the committee has been asked to finalise its recommendations early,” Shinde said in the letter.
The Justice Verma panel was constituted by the government on December 23 in the wake of public outrage over gang-rape of a girl in a moving bus in the capital. The girl died in a Singapore hospital early Saturday. The panel has been asked to finalise its recommendations in a month.
The views can be e-mailed to Justice Verma at justice.verma @nic.in or on 23022031