Review all police chiefs' appointments, suggests Justice Verma

Jan 23, 2013, 19:12 IST | Agencies

The Justice J.S. Verma committee, set up to suggest ways to make rape laws stronger in the country, submitted its report Wednesday. The committee was set in the wake of the gruesome gang-rape of a trainee physiotherapist in Delhi last month.

The Justice J.S. Verma Committee, set up to review criminal laws following the Delhi gang-rape, Wednesday recommended to the union home ministry to review appointments of all state police chiefs.

Justice Verma said that the Supreme Court judgment of 2006 in Prakash Singh's case, giving certain directions for autonomy and improving the quality of the police force remained to be implemented.

He said there should not be any further delay on the issue if there was genuine desire to honour the purpose of constituting the committee.

The former chief justice of India, while submitting his report here, complained that the response from directors general of police on the review of law was poor.

"There was hardly any response from anyone of them and there was a news reports in one of the national dailies which said the DGPs ignore the committee. I don't know what it meant," said Verma.

Many citizens want the death sentence for rapists. File Pic

On the attitude of the DGPs, the committee recommended for the review of appointment of these high officials.

"The review of appointment of all those DGPs is the other recommendation we have made," said Verma while reading out from his report. 

Speaking to reporters later, Justice Verma said he was impressed by the "spontaneous" response of the youth against the Dec 16 gang-rape.

He said it was a "stupendous task" of compiling the report in one month's time and they got response from organisations and students around the world.

"This is just the beginning of the change," he said, adding that he hopes the report will be taken up "seriously" in the coming parliament session.

"Many recommendations made in the past for women have not been implemented. We have perfect laws but they remain ineffective," he added.

He also said that the first step is to stop eve-teasing or sexual harassment and stalking from society.

"It is a serious matter... these practices are tolerated by the society. We need to first deal with the first step as it graduates to sexual assault," he told reporters.

He said he was "struck by the peaceful manner" in which the youth rose to protest the brutal attack on the 23-year-old woman, who was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus. The woman, along with her friend, was later thrown out of the bus - bloodied and without clothes in the cold December night. She died 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.

"It was a spontaneous show of the youth. It was an humbling experience... the youth taught us, the older generation. This is the real hope and the brightest aspect of this entire exercise," said justice Verma, a former chief justice of India and ex-chairman of the National Human Rights Commission. 

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