Bhandara Rape Case: Police Clueless Of Culprits; Protest Intensifies, Villages Shutdown
Bhandara Rape Case: Police Clueless Of Culprits; Protest Intensifies, Villages Shutdown Reuters

The Justice JS Verma committee, which was set up to propose amendments to laws relating to crimes against women, submitted its report to the home ministry on Wednesday.

The three-member committee in its report has criticized the government, police insensitivity and gender bias for the rising crimes against women in the country.  

"Failure of governance is the obvious cause for the current situation," he said.

He also blamed the government for failing to prevent crimes against women and said the existing laws are adequate to check sexual assaults against women if properly implemented.

The committee had received suggestions and recommendations from public, women groups, eminent lawyers, NGOs, government agencies, experts and political parties in and out of the country.

The horrific gang-rape of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student in south Delhi on Dec 16 had sparked nationwide protests from the youth and women demanding tougher laws and protection against sexual assaults.

The committee said it had received more than 80,000 responses to the Home Ministry's public notice inviting suggestions to prevent crimes against women, from across India. 

The key recommendations of the Justice JS Verma Committee

  • Every complaint of rape must be registered. Committee also included instance of eve-teasing, stalking and voyeurism, insensitivity of police to deal with rape incidents.
  • Police reforms must be implemented and autonomy of the police force enforced.
  • Measures to prevent politicization of law enforcement agencies should be taken.
  • Sitting members of Parliament with cases booked against them must step down.
  • Special commissioners should be appointed to address the issues of violence against women in conflict areas such as Kashmir, Chattisgarh and Manipur, and armed forces must be brought under common law.
  • A new constitutional authority akin to CAG for education and non-discrimination of women and children should be established.
  • The strength of judges should be strengthened with due consideration to quality. 
  • All marriages should be registered and dowry transactions stopped. New medical protocol must be suggested for rape victims and laws should cover sexuality minorities.
  • Take measures to prevent marital rape and rape of children at home.
  • Crackdown on the unconstitutional Khap panchayats from acting as a parallel legal system.
  • Travelling in public transport should be made safer, especially for women.