New Delhi: The Verma Committee rejected the suggestion of chemical castration of rapists as it considered handing down such a punishment would violate human rights and that mutilation of the body is not permitted under the Constitution. "We note that it would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with basic human rights treaties for the state to expose any citizen without their consent to potentially dangerous medical side effects."
"For this reason, we do not recommend mandatory chemical castration of any type as a punishment for sex offenders. For the same reason, the Government of India does not prescribe chemical castration as a family planning method," the 3-member panel said in its report.
"We are further of the opinion that chemical castration fails to treat the social foundations of rape which is about power and sexually deviant behaviour. We, therefore, hold that mandatory chemical castration as a punishment contradicts human rights standards.
"We, therefore, reject the possibility of chemical castration as a means of punishment. We must take on record a suggestion from a leading doctor for permanent surgical castration. We think mutilation of the body is not permitted by the Constitution," the committee said.
Death is a known form of penalty but mutilation has not been recognised in progressive jurisprudence as prescribed punitive action, the committee said as it recommended further research and study in this matter.
The panel, with Justice (retd) Leila Seth and Gopal Subramanium as its two other members, was constituted to recommend amendments to criminal laws in the wake of the national outrage over the Delhi gangrape.