A commission of inquiry headed by a former Delhi high court judge to go into the gang-rape incident was set up on Wednesday by the Centre which also ordered a probe into allegations of police interference in recording the victim's statement that has snowballed into a major row.
A meeting of the Union cabinet presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the decision to set up the one-person Commission headed by Justice (retd) Usha Mehra to identify lapses and fix responsibility in the gang-rape of 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in South Delhi on night of December 16.
The commission, which will also suggest measures to make Delhi and NCR safer for women, will submit within three months its report to be tabled in Parliament along with action taken by the government.
Announcing the decision to set up the commission at a news conference after the meeting, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said it was a "matter of shame" that the incident happened in Delhi and the central government has special responsibility.
At the meeting, several ministers voiced their anguish at the horrific crime and said the government should walk the extra mile to ensure recovery of the victim and instil a sense of safety among women.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde briefed the meeting on the incident and steps being taken to defuse the situation.
On allegations by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that Delhi Police officers had interfered in the process of recording of statement of the rape victim, Chidambaram said the home minister had told the Cabinet that an internal probe by a senior officer has been ordered into it.
As the row with the Delhi government escalated, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar wrote to the Home Ministry rebutting charges that police had interfered when a magistrate was recording the statement of the victim.
Stepping up its pressure on the Police Commissioner, Delhi Chief Secretary P K Tripathi said after the state Cabinet meeting that Kumar has no authority to comment on functioning of the SDM who complained of police interference while recording the statement.
The condition of the rape victim deteriorated on Tuesday night as her pulse rate reduced considerably but it recovered soon.
She, however, continues to be critical but stable, doctors attending on her at Safdarjung hospital said. She continues to be on ventilator support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).