New Delhi: A week after Justice JS Verma Committee submitted its recommendations to the Home Ministry, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday thanked him for the report. The Prime Minister, in a letter to Justcie Verma, assured him that the government would use it as a basis to strengthen laws on crimes against women.
The Prime Minister lauded Justice Verma, Leila Seth and Gopal Subramanian for completing the report in 30 days and appreciated their commitment and concern for public good.
"I thank you, Justice Leila Seth and Shri Gopal Subramanian for your labour of love in completing the work. That the Committee submitted its report within a short period of 30 days is testimony to your commitment and concern for public good. I assure you that we will be prompt in pursuing the recommendations of the committee," the Prime Minister wrote in the letter.
The Verma Committee has recommended enhancing punishment to upto 20 years imprisonment for rape and murder and life term for gang rape but refrained from suggesting death penalty to the guilty. In its 630-page report submitted to the government on January 23, the Committee suggested various amendments to the criminal laws to provide for higher punishment to rapists, including those belonging to police and public servants.
New offences have been created and stiffer punishment has been suggested for those committing such offence that left the victim in a vegetative state. The new offences include disrobing a woman, voyeurism, stalking and trafficking. The present statute provides for punishment of imprisonment ranging from seven years to life for rapists. The panel was constituted in the wake of national outrage over the gangrape in a moving bus in south Delhi. The victim died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
(With additional information from PTI)