Indian Government’s action on Delhi gang rape case

27 Dec

Ministers and Police against rape in IndiaIndian citizens should pat their back for forcing the Indian government to take substantial decisions regarding brutal incidents like rape in India. The 23 year female physiotherapy student was brutally raped in the Indian capital city Delhi on 16th December 2012. If the people in Delhi had not marched and protested on the streets, quite possibly this rape incident would have gone into the record books of a police station just like any other crime against women, clearly shows India is ruled by a reactive government rather than a pro-active government.

After all the protest and global criticism government has set up two enquiry commissions:

1. A three member commission headed by former Chief Justice of India JS (Jagdish Sharan) Verma has been setup to suggest amendments in law to provide quick and stringent punishment in sex assault cases. The commission has been given 30 days deadline to come up with their report. The three member committee has issued a notice seeking suggestions from the public, the suggestions can be sent by e-mail to justice.verma@nic.in or through fax at 011-23092675. Deadline for sending suggestions is 5th January 2013. Apart from JS Verma other two members are Mr. Gopal Subramanian and Mrs. Leela Seth. JS Verma was the 27th Chief Justice of India from March 25, 1997 until his retirement on January 18, 1998, he also seems to be a fan of Congress party and was never in favour of CBI and Prime Minister coming under Lokpal. Gopal Subramaniam is a supreme court lawyer  who was appointed as  Solicitor General of India and represented government in cases like  2001 Indian Parliament attack case in which the trial court’s verdict of awarding death sentence to Afzal Guru was upheld. Subramaniam resigned from the post of Solicitor General to protest the government’s decision to hire a private lawyer in a case involving Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. The third member of the committee Leila Seth was the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court and the first woman to become Chief Justice of a state High Court. Her son Vikram Seth is a writer who has confessed being a bisexual.
Formation of the committee is good news but the selection of old and retired people doesn’t make sense. The existing committee members have been part of the old laws and must have preached it with open arms during their tenure, so what will motivate them to make substantial amendments and bring changes that really matters to Indian woman. We get a feeling that old rape crime laws will still prevail will little tweaks here and there. Wish there was a common woman or better a rape victim part of the Verma commission who has gone through the painful process of fighting for justice against the corrupt and weak Indian judicial system.

2. A single person commission headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Usha Mehra has been set up to identify and investigate lapses that lead to gang rape of 23-year-old girl in New Delhi. Commission will submit a report in 90 days which will be discussed in Parliament. The commission will suggest steps to make Delhi and NCR safe for women. Again no common man is part of the commission, how can a person surrounded by security personnel understand the sentiments and common problems faced by women in India.

3. On allegations by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that police officers had interfered in the recording of statement of the rape victim, home minister has initiated an internal probe by a senior officer to look into the matter.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram appealed to public to “believe” that steps were being taken to find lasting solution to the “problem that has plagued all metropolitan cities”. Let’s hope the government comes up with some concrete steps to stop this ugly incident from happening in future.

Has Government of India taken the right steps?

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