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Verma committee begins work; seeks public comments

December 24, 2012 16:56 IST

The three-member committee of jurists, constituted to give recommendations on amending laws to provide speedier justice and enhanced punishment in sexual assault cases, began its work on Monday by issuing notice seeking public comments on the issue by January 5.

The committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma sought comments from the public in general, particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, non-governmental organisations, women's groups and civil society members on reviewing the existing laws in a bid to provide quicker justice and stringent punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault, an official statement said.

The comments can be sent at email ID -- or through FAX at  011-23092675. The committee, which was constituted after public protests erupted over the Delhi gangrape case, will look into possible amendments to the criminal law for faster trial and proper punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women.

The other members of the committee, constituted by the government, are Justice (retd) Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, and Gopal Subramanian, former solicitor general of India.

The panel has been given 30 days to give its report to the government. Under the existing law, the maximum punishment for rape is a life term but the nation-wide outrage over the gangrape of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus last Sunday night has sparked a demand for death penalty for rape convicts.

The Bharatiya Janata Partyhas also favoured death for perpetrators of such crimes and demanded a special session of Parliament for amending the laws.

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