J S Verma committee report Submitted On Wednesday
J S Verma committee report Submitted On WednesdayReuters

The Justice J S Verma committee submitted a report with recommendations to enhance and amend existing laws dealing with cases of sexual crime on Wednesday.

Verma said that the panel received over 80,000 suggestions from India and abroad prior to the deadline set on Jan 5.

The government had appointed the committee on Dec 23 after a series of nationwide protests demanding harsh punishment for the six accused in the Delhi gang rape.

The three-member panel included former Chief Justice of India, J S Verma, who headed the committee, Justice (Retd.) Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court and Gopal Subramanian, former Solicitor General of India.

The amendments in the anti-rape law are made to ensure speedy justice to victims of sexual assault and impose strict punishment on the offenders in such cases.

The report was submitted to the government which will take into consideration various recommendations that was sought by the committee from all sides, including eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women's groups, civil society members and comma man.

The suggestions send by women's group included fast-track court trial, refusal of bail to accused during the course of trial and an end to the "two-finger test" for victims among many others.

The committee had earlier said that while some of the suggestions were exceptionally good and helpful, others seemed casual including the ones sent by NGOs.

The panel had noticed that none of the DGPs of other except Delhi responded to the committee's request to list out deficiencies in law that served as obstacles while investigating cases of crimes against women.

Many political parties put forward their recommendations including one of which stated that the accused in sexual crimes should be sentenced to harsh life-imprisonment and that death penalty should be given only in the rarest of rare cases.

The Bhartiya Janata Party had also recommended the death sentence for offenders in the aftermath of the Delhi gang-rape incident last month. The 23-year-old victim was brutally assaulted and raped by six men on Dec 16.

The trial of the five adult accused has begun while youngest accused, who claimed to a minor, will be tried before the Juvenile Justice Board if his medical reports proved him a minor.  

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