New Delhi: Former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi on Saturday welcomed the ordinance to amend the criminal law with focus on crime against women but said the government has cherry picked recommendations of Justice Verma Committee. "Justice Verma's recommendations took a 360-degree view of the issue. The ordinance has cherry picked recommendations. Very well, it's a beginning made but it's still a long way to go," Bedi said.
On the issue of juvenile's age, she said the gravity of the crime and not the age of the accused should be the criteria while deciding the quantum of punishment. "It should be decided based on gravity of crime and not on the age of accused," Bedi said.
Backing the Verma Committe's suggestions on police reforms, Bedi stressed on leadership in police and said there should be a fixed tenure for officials. "There are enough laws but what we need is strong police leadership in the system. The officers don't have fixed terms, which makes their work more difficult. There should not be interference by political power in the appointments," Bedi said.
Bedi, along with former DG of Border Security Force Prakash Singh and Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Maja Daruwala, was speaking on "Police Reforms in the Context of the Verma Committe Report" at Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC).
Singh said operational independence should be given to police. "You cannot take an isolated view for police reforms. Police as a whole needs to be sensitised so that they can deal with any issue, whether it is security of women, terrorism, Maoism," Singh said.
"Police should have adequate powers to take action," he added.