Verma Committee blames govt, police for crime against women

New Delhi, Jan 23: The Congress-led UPA government faced major embarrassment as Justice Verma Committee blamed governance and police for failure to provide a safe environment for women in the country.

While submitting the Justice Verma Committee report to Ministry of Home Affairs, former Chief Justice of India Justice JS Verma and his two colleagues came down heavily on government machinery for failure to tackle sexual assaults on women in New Delhi on Wednesday, Jan 23.

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

"Why not ensure the root cause is prevented? Have a safe environment so that such incidents don't take place," Verma said.

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"One of the interesting features, because it is laughable, is that we expected response from the DGPs. There was hardly any response from any of them," Verma said.

"If this is an attitude of DGPs, then there needs to be a change in the steps taken to appoint the DGPs, which is among the recommendations we have made. The committee hopes that the concern shown by the government will not wane with the passage of time," he said.

"I was shocked when I saw soon after the incident the Delhi police commissioner being given a pat on the back by someone no less than the home secretary. I was completely shocked as a citizen," he said.

The least he could have done was seek an apology for failing to protect a citizen, he said, emphasising the need for sensitivity while implementing laws.

Justice Verma lauded and saluted Youth Movement which broke out in the wake of brutal Delhi gangrape in the national capital. "Much to learn from the youth, not possible to name everyone who contributed. Even when there was provocation, they did not react and continued to maintain calm. It was the young men who were conscious that this gender inequality has to be done away with," said Justice Verma.

Justice Verma Committee formed in the wake of brutal Delhi gangrape has been flooded with suggestions. Justice Verma told reporters that the committee got around 80,000 suggestions from across India.

Right from eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women's groups and civil society members, everyone has sent suggestions to Justice Verma Committee. The three-member Justice Verma panel was set up to suggest tougher laws for crimes against women.

The committee was formed by Congress-led UPA government after the brutal gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student by a group of six men in a moving bus in the national capital. The victim struggled 13-days to survive but unfortunately she died in a hospital in Singapore on Dec 29, 2012.

The horrific incident caused nation-wide outrage and people across the country protested on the streets to demand safer environment for women. The other members of the committee are Justice (Retd) Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanian.

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