24 Jan 2013

Law changes proposed by rape commission

9:39 pm on 24 January 2013

A commission set up in India to look at crimes against women in the wake of a fatal gang rape that shocked the nation has proposed wide-ranging reforms.

It recommends quick trials and faster processing of appeals in cases of crimes against women. It also also called for longer sentences and said the mindset of law enforcers needs to change.

Former chief justice JS Verma said the commission had received 80,000 responses from India and abroad on how to reform rape laws.

Among the recommendations in the report submitted to the home ministry on Wednesday were:

  • Broadening of the definition of what constituted sexual assault
  • Cases to be tried in specially designated courts, preferably by women judges
  • Quicker trials and faster processing of appeals in cases of crimes against women
  • More accountability for the police
  • Better implementation of laws and the need for a change in the mindset of law-enforcers
  • Strong action against those found guilty of trafficking and against security forces convicted of sexual assault in conflict zones
  • Uniform national protocol for the treatment and medical examination of rape survivors

The government said the report will be considered soon.

Justice Verma also praised young people for going into the streets to protest about the status quo.