Know Important 78 Facts Suggestions given by Justice JS Verma in a report amendment of criminal law Crimes against women
The three-member Committee headed by former Chief Justice J S Verma submitted its 630-page report to the government suggesting amendment of criminal laws to provide for higher punishment to rapists, including those belonging to police and public servants.
The commission completed its review of existing laws and prepared its report within a tough 30-day deadline.
He said he received 80,000 suggestions from India and abroad.
The panel was constituted after the Delhi gang rape case of Amanat or Damini or candle light.
Following are the suggestions , recommended amendments suggested by JS Varma Committee Report in Amendments to criminal law.
Committee was constituted by GOI Notification No. SO (3003)E, dated
December 23, 2012 to look into possible amendments of the Criminal Law to provide
for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals committing sexual assault
of extreme nature against women. In view of the significance and urgency of the
task, the Committee undertook to perform it within 30 days, which task has been
The urgency of the matter impelled the Committee to undertake the performance of the assigned task within the short period of 30 days to enable the authorities, with all their resources, to take the necessary follow up action within a further 30-day period, so that the same or a substantial portion of the same may be completed before commencement of the next session of the Parliament, which, we hope, will undertake the needed legislative exercise recommended by this Committee.
Failure of good governance is the obvious root cause for the current unsafe environment eroding the rule of law, and not the want of needed legislation. If there was a felt need for more laws, there are many recommendations of expert bodies and judicial decisions that remain unimplemented. The Law Commission’s 84th Report in 1980 and its 172nd Report of 2000 relating to this subject, the National Police Commission Reports recommending autonomy and seminal improvement in the quality of the police force, which is the principal machinery for the maintenance of law and order, continue to gather dust for decades due to the apathy of all the political dispensations. The Supreme Court’s judgment of 2006 in Prakash Singh’s case giving certain directions for the autonomy and improving the quality of the police force remain to be implemented by all the governments. Action in this behalf does not brook any further delay, if there is a genuine desire to honour the purpose of
constituting this Committee.
The National Human Rights Commission has also held the government accountable and responsible for the violation of human rights within its jurisdiction, observing:
“…it is the primary and inescapable responsibility of the State to protect the right to life, liberty,
equality and dignity of all of those who constitute it. It is also the responsibility of the State to ensure that such rights are not violated either through overt acts, or through abetment or negligence. It is a clear and emerging principle of human rights jurisprudence that the State is responsible not only for the acts of its own agents, but also for the acts of non-State players acting within its jurisdiction.The State is, in addition, responsible for any inaction that may cause or facilitate the violation of human rights.
It is shocking to note that even after the recent horrific incident of gang rape, many political
leaders, including members of Parliament/State legislatures, spiritual gurus with large followings and other eminent persons have been making statements reinforcing the gender bias. Some have even blamed the victim for having facilitated the rape by her own behaviour. Some of the worst examples are:
(i) Shri Anisur Rahman (Communist Party of India (Marxist) – West Bengal): "We have
told the chief minister in the assembly that the government will pay money to compensate rape
victims. What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?"
(ii) Shri Asaram Bapu: "Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim is as guilty as her
rapists... She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop... This
could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don't think so,"
(iii) Shri Om Prakash Chautala (INLD – Haryana): "We should learn from the past...
specially in Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities
and currently a similar situation is arising in the state. I think that's the reason khap has taken
such a decision and I support it."
(iv) Shri Sri Prakash Jaiswal (Congress): “New victory and a new marriage have their own
significance. The memory of your victory fades with time, the same way one’s wife becomes old
and loses her charm”
Many of them have reflected this gender bias contrary to the constitutional mandate after
swearing ‘to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India’, in addition to their
fundamental duty ‘to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals’.
This begs the question - does the Indian State live at two levels? One which comprises those who are affluent and who have access to the Constitution and its machinery, and the other comprising those who live in the silent domination of the superior will of tradition, customs and practices which are derogatory to women?
These indeed compel us to admit to only one answer that whatever be the political orientation, the Indian State has failed to look at this issue in a substantive manner. While we acknowledge and greatly applaud the concerns of feminists and various persons who have spoken in support of women, we still feel distressed to say that all organs of the State have, in varying degrees, failed to fulfil the promise of equality in favour of women. We also notice that the high instances of female foeticide and infanticide, poor maternity and child care, women’s diseases turning chronic, women being subjected to malnutrition, are
outrageous stains on a free India. They disclose the inbuilt subconscious bias of those who rule
against women. The Committee would like to remind the State that gender equality and
safeguarding of human rights is a Millennium Development Goal (to be achieved by the year 2015) under the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
Despite the well-known Bhanwari Devi case, which led to the Vishakha judgment, full justice continues to elude the victim of sexual harassment and sexual assault even after two decades. The most appalling feature of the case is that the trial court acquitted the accused observing that the rapists were middle-aged and respectable persons of a higher caste who could not have raped a lower caste woman. The mindset of the judiciary also needs to be improved by their education in gender sensitivity. The women’s tragedy is to face the compounding of gender and social injustice contrary to the constitutional promise to ‘secure a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of national life’, and the State’s obligation ‘to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people’
We must note that the Constitution is a pledge of the State. The State is responsible to live and administer the Constitution. As far as the rights of women are concerned, in our opinion, the State has failed to fulfil its tryst and pledge with the Constitution to create both, atmospheric climatic and ground conditions for their welfare and benefit.
We regret to state that there have been cases where the police has viewed vulnerability of the victims as a corresponding additive to its own strength of control. We are afraid the violation of human rights pertaining to ‘rape cases’ including permission of rape, distorting investigation in rape, pre-conceived notions of ‘honour,’ certain regressive court judgment (in some cases, we are told, that the rapist made a magnanimous offer to marry the girl) are extraordinarily telling euphemisms of misplaced morality. Thus, complaints of rape become mere matters of formality - low on priority because there is no understanding of the acuteness of the violation of human rights in respect of a woman by sexual assault and the psychological trauma she undergoes. This is compounded by vulnerabilities emanating from class/caste/community disadvantages and also that of poverty. This has led to a subculture of oppression and we are afraid that unless and until this is addressed not just in high sounding economic terms but in terms of concrete legislation, accountability, assertion of rights, guarantees of education and above all to secure spaces, India’s constitutional claim to
republicanism remains overstated.
India was one of the 48 countries which voted in favour of the adoption of the UDHR by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th December 1948. The UDHR is not a treaty in itself but defines ‘fundamental freedoms’ and ‘human rights’ for the purposes of the UN Charter. The UDHR is generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law as it inspired the numerous human rights conventions which followed including the ICCPR and ICESCR.
under Canadian law, the accused cannot argue that there was belief in consent if the
accused did not take reasonable steps to ascertain that there was consent to the specific sexual activity. It is not enough that the accused subjectively believed there was consent. He must also demonstrate that he took reasonable steps to ascertain it.
We do notice that this concept of shame has somehow led the police to have an upper hand.
The police have become arbiters of honour. The police, without registering even a FIR, assume that they have the moral capacity to pronounce upon the rights and wrongs of the rapist as well as the rape victim. This is simply deplorable and it is inconceivable in a modern society, which is governed by republican values. We think that it is necessary for the police officers to be completely sensitised against the honour-shame theory, and to treat every woman complainant as an individual in her own right capable of asserting her grievance. In other words, we feel that an indirect validation of police inaction in rape crimes has taken place as a result of a) amorphous attribution of women’s position in Indian society;
b) the theory of shame-honour;
c) the policeman, ‘being the male’ in a ‘patriarchal society, ought to be ‘the moral judge’. It not only skews the justice delivery system at the stage of lodging the complaint, but it has a strongly debilitating effect resulting in direct violation of fundamental human freedoms and rights under the Constitution and the various international instruments.
we feel that the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012 has provisions that are somewhat
protective of the right of safety of women, we feel that the said Bill is far from complete. It needs a series of revisions
We are indeed shocked to note that notwithstanding the fact that these Law
Commission Reports were made decades ago, very little attention has been paid to the
implementation of these recommendations. We also note that the National Legal Vision Document (drafted by one of us) in fact wanted a separate office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General to be established which would study the implementation of recommendations of the Law Commission. This, unfortunately, has also not been carried out.
What is most surprising is that Parliament has ignored the recommendation of the 84th Report,
which calls for the punishment of a station-in-charge who fails to register information of a cognisable offence given to him. In this respect the 84th Report recommended as follows:
“X. Non-recording of information relating to cognizable offences
3.29. Section 167-A IPC—Refusal to register case of rape.—We now come to another matter concerning the stage of investigation. During our oral discussions with the representatives of women's organisations, it was stated that in some cases the police fail to register a case
of rape reported to them even when the full facts are communicated to them. We have not been able to gather statistics of the number of such cases, as the collection of the relevant figures would take considerable time and the present Report deals with a matter of urgency. We
hope that the percentage of such cases would not be high. Nevertheless, we do take the view that in principle, the law should contain a specific provision dealing with refusal (or failure without sufficient cause) to register such cases. The offence of rape is a cognizable
offence and if the police fail to register it, it is a clear violation of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in this regard. Cognizable offences reported to the police are “registered”—as the popular usage goes—under S. 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If the officer in charge of a police station refuses to record the information reported relating to a
cognizable offence, there is a remedy already provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure, the relevant provision being in the following terms:
“(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to
record the information referred to in sub-s. (1) [of S. 154] may send the substance of such
information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if
satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either
investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer
subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code and such officer shall have all the
powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.”
3.32. Insertion of Section 167-A, Indian Penal Code recommended.—Having regard to what we have stated above, we would recommend the insertion of a specific penal provision, say, as S. 167-A, in the Indian Penal Code on the subject. In view of the general scheme adopted in that Code, the proposed provision would not be confined to refusal to register the offence of rape and
would cover other cognizable offences as well. The following is a rough draft of the provision that we recommend:
“167-A.—Whoever, being an officer-in-charge of a police station and required by law to record any information relating to the commission of a cognisable offence reported to him, refuses or without reasonable cause fails to record such information shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term
We find that the same is true in Canada, South Africa and Australia. In Canada, the provisions in
the Criminal Code, which denied criminal liability for marital rape, were repealed in 1983.87 It is now a crime in Canada for a husband to rape his wife. South Africa criminalised marital rape in 1993, reversing the common law principle that a husband could not be found guilty of raping his wife.
Even when marital rape is recognised as a crime, there is a risk that judges might regard marital
rape as less serious than other forms of rape, requiring more lenient sentences, as happened in South Africa.93 In response, the South African Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act of 2007 now provides that the relationship between the victim and the accused may not be regarded as a ‘substantial and compelling circumstance’ justifying a deviation from legislatively required minimum sentences for rape.
We, therefore, recommend that:
i. The exception for marital rape be removed.
ii. The law ought to specify that:
a. A marital or other relationship between the perpetrator or victim is not a valid defence
against the crimes of rape or sexual violation;
b. The relationship between the accused and the complainant is not relevant to the
inquiry into whether the complainant consented to the sexual activity;
c. The fact that the accused and victim are married or in another intimate relationship
may not be regarded as a mitigating factor justifying lower sentences for rape.
Retired Judges of the Supreme Court, High Court and the District Courts could be appointed as ad-hoc judges to expeditiously dispose pending cases;
Parliament should consider equalisation of age of retirement of the subordinate judiciary, the High Court and the Supreme Court so that manpower will be immediately available;
Adjournment should not be allowed as a matter of course in respect of cases specially fixed for hearing before the ad-hoc courts, or even before regular courts.
Public prosecutors should be appointed on the basis of merit in accordance with the
recommendations made by the Chief Justice of the High Court and not on the basis of any political considerations.
Cases of rape and sexual assault should be tried by women prosecutors, and, to the extent possible, by women judges. In any event, all judges of the subordinate and higher judiciary should receive training in gender sensitivity.
We would also like to refer to the decision in Nilabati Behera v, State of Orissa & Others98. This was an important pronouncement to ensure that an enforceable right of compensation was also a part of the enforcement of guaranteed rights.
Thus, what can happen in respect of an offence like rape is that there could be not only an offence as defined in the IPC but simultaneously there would be a constitutional violation of Articles 14, 14, 19 and 21 and which would also enable the victim to claim right to compensation. We are of the view that a right to claim compensation will lie against the State in the event the State is unable to secure safe conditions / safe spaces for women. It is under these circumstances that the norms and guidelines were actually prescribed in Vishakha by the Supreme Court.
The Committee is of the view that conciliation in cases of sexual harassment is
antithetical to the intended result, inasmuch as the concept of conciliation pre-supposes the existence of a valid complaint. If in fact a false complaint is made or one which is incapable of proof, there will be no need for a conciliation. Alternatively, since conciliation arises at a time prior to action being taken on a complaint it may be used as an effective tool to muzzle the Tribunal’s primary duty of investigating and prosecuting cases of sexual harassment so as to lend sufficient teeth to the legislation. If a valid complaint is made, then the consequences that ensue must only be those mandated by the proposed legislation. We are further of the view that the complainant shall not be permitted to withdraw a complaint once made so as to ensure that all cases of sexual harassment are properly dealt with under the law of the land.
We apprehend that permitting either mandatory conciliation, even if at the instance of the
complainant, or permitting the complainant to withdraw her complaint will negatively impact the ability of women to bring valid complaints before the Tribunal. It cannot be gainsaid that the myriad pressurizing influences that are brought to bear upon women in our society may act to disable her from pursuing a valid complaint.
All the State Governments and Union Territories are directed to depute plain clothed female police officers in the precincts of bus-stands and stops, railway stations, metro stations, cinema theatres, shopping malls, parks, beaches, public service vehicles, places of worship etc. so as to monitor and supervise incidents of eve-teasing.
There will be a further direction to the State Government and Union Territories to install CCTV in strategic positions which itself would be a deterrent and if detected, the offender could be caught.
State Governments and Union Territories are directed to establish Women’ Helpline in various cities and towns, so as to curb eve-teasing within three months.
Sexual violence against women by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel must
be brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law;
Special care must also be taken to ensure the safety of women who are complainants and
witnesses in cases of sexual assault by armed personnel;
There should be special commissioners – who are either judicially or legislatively appointed –
for women’s safety and security in all areas of conflict in the country. These commissioners
must be chosen from those who have experience with women’s issues, preferably in
conflict areas. In addition, such commissioners must be vested with adequate powers to
monitor and initiate action for redress and criminal prosecution in all cases of sexual
violence against women by armed personnel;
Care must be taken to ensure the safety and security of women detainees in police stations,
and women at army or paramilitary check points, and this should be a subject under the
regular monitoring of the special commissioners mentioned earlier;
We have also seen correspondence between the Delhi Police and the Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of NCT of Delhi, wherein the Delhi Police has sought the following information:
“How many cases of rape and other crimes against women have been reported in the NCT wherein one or more of the accused person(s) are staff of protective homes for women, or where the offence has taken place within the premises of a protective home for women for the period 01.01.2007 to 31.12.2012. Data in respect of each such crime be provided separately.”
We find that no reply has been made available by the Delhi Government.
When one looks at the ‘efforts’ undertaken by the executive, we have examined the Delhi Police’s ‘Zipnet’ website which was set up in 2004 to act as a country-wide database for, inter alia, missing women and children. When Zipnet was established, its objective was to have a nation-wide network / database by 2012 – i.e., all police stations in the country would be connected. This has, sadly, not been achieved.
The manner in which the Juvenile Justice Act has been implemented shows a complete failure of the State.
In schools teachers should promote group interactive practices so that the idea of a male child
having masculinity and which necessarily implies an implied repudiation of feminity or sensitivity must is discouraged. The attempt of education should be to liberate children from social constructs and not to reinforce them; and thrust has to be inculcation of respect for other person especially that of the other gender.
We, therefore, think that one of the ideas of gender roles which is firmly embedded in the psyche of the Indian male needs to be now psychologically reconstructed on rational lines in the context of relationship with society and with women and particularly respect and equality towards women. We, therefore, suggest that there must be an improvisation in the school curriculum which must involve the subject of what are called as “Social Science- Practical Applications”, and in fact, the curriculum must be modified to include a flavor of the afore-stated approach in each of the subjects
We are clearly of the opinion that the removal of stigma from rape is the first necessary step. We are unable to appreciate the view that the survivor of rape is a ‘zinda laash’ (a living corpse). Such comments are unfortunate and are antithetical to the construct of a progressive society.
There is an urgent need to audit the performance of all institutions of governance and law and order. It is indeed necessary that we must now have external social audit for the sake of transparency.
We recommend that in the proposed Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012, the
minimum sentence should be enhanced to 10 years with a maximum punishment being life
We recommend a legislative clarification that life imprisonment must always mean
imprisonment for ‘the entire natural life of the convict’
We note that it would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with basic human rights treaties for the State to expose any citizen without their consent to potentially dangerous medical side effects. For this reason we do not recommend mandatory chemical castration of any type as a punishment for sex offenders. For the same reason the government of India also does not prescribe chemical castration as a family planning method
We, reject the possibility of chemical castration as a means of punishment. We must take on record a suggestion from a leading doctor for permanent surgical castration. We think that a mutilation of the body is not permitted by the Constitution. ‘Death’ is a known form of penalty but mutilation has not been recognised in progressive jurisprudence as prescribed punitive action.
Assuming that a person at the age of 16 is sent to life imprisonment, he would be released
sometimes in the mid-30s. There is little assurance that the convict would emerge a reformed person, who will not commit the same crime that he was imprisoned for (or, for that matter, any other crime). The attempt made by Ms. Kiran Bedi to reform Tihar Jail inmates was, and continues to be, a successful experiment. But we are afraid that that is only a flash in the pan. Our jails do not have reformatory and rehabilitation policies. We do not engage with inmates as human beings. We do not bring about transformation. We, therefore, breed more criminals including juveniles) in our prison and reformatory system by ghettoing them in juvenile homes and protective homes where they are told that the State will protect and provide for them, but which promise is a fruitless one.
It is time that the State invested in reformation for juvenile offenders and destitute juveniles. There are numerous jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, Thailand, and South Africa where children are corrected and rehabilitated; restorative justice is done and abuse is prevented. We think this is possible in India but it requires a determination of a higher order.
We are of the view that the material before is sufficient for us to reach the conclusion that the age of ‘juveniles’ ought not to be reduced to 16 years
As a fundamental requirement, we strongly opine that the State should undertake the task of
providing well lit roads, streets and other common spaces to the citizens.
It has been borne out from recommendations received by us that in rural India, lack of proper
sanitation facilities also contribute to the commission of sexual crimes against women. At
night women have to get out of their houses to use sanitation facilities and these moments are abused by anti-social elements. We opine that the issue of provision of adequate sanitation facilities in villages and urban areas has to be considered urgently.
Committee is shocked to note the large number of directions issued by
various High Court and the Apex Court in this regard, which are not being complied with by the
Central Government and various State Governments.
Despite the fact that all concerned authorities including the police, admit the use of
such black filmed vehicles in propagation of major crimes but still they are not able to prevent their user despite the fact that it also offends the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
A cursory glance on any of India’s roads at any time of day or night will show that these directions of the Supreme Court are being openly flouted by all and sundry. It saddens the Committee to note that the police forces of this country enforce these directions, and indeed law, only when orders are passed by various courts, and then again, only take action for a few days.
What is even more shocking is the incapability of the Government of India and of the various State Governments to implement even the most basic safety measures
the Executive of this country is fully aware of the bare minimum steps
that are required to ensure the safety of women, and has been aware of the same, as will be seen
elsewhere in this Report, for several years. Yet, despite numerous recommendations,
deliberations, consultations, studies, directions from the judiciary and, most importantly, the protests of civil society, the State continues to fall woefully short of ensuring the safety of women in this country.
The Committee is of the opinion that in respect of all public transport vehicles which move after 5.30 pm until 7.30 am, every transport vehicle must have a security person.
Whether it be rural or metropolitan area, the public transport vehicles must be
adequately increased and it is the function of the State to make sure that there is
adequate means of transport which will increase the level of security in respect of
women both during the day as well as night
We are of the view that every State Government must have a computerised database
which would have details of –
a. All the vehicles;
b. Their real owners (as against benami
c. It will be mandatory for the bus owners (or State Road Transport Corporations) to
display, in good light, the bus numbers as well as the name, age and address of the
drivers along with their photographs and contact numbers. It should be displayed
within the bus and should always be visible on the outside of the bus as well;
d. In all metropolitan towns, CCTV cameras should be installed inside each bus. The
CCTV has to be installed in a tamper-proof condition and it will be the duty of the
constable (woman or male) who is travelling in the bus to ensure that the
CCTV is not tampered with;
e. In addition, all buses should be fitted with tamper proof GPS systems. In respect of
new buses, proposals should be made to engine/chassis manufacturers to build such
GPS tracking system into the engine/chassis before delivery to the customer;
It is necessary to have simple hotline numbers which can be dialled by
passengers when need arises. We also propose that downloadable mobile phone
applications may be developed so that citizens can, with one click or touch, send
distress signals to the police. Technology may also be developed so as to track the
signals or messages sent
We further express our distress that the State has turned a blind eye to poor and destitute women,
and women who are victims of domestic violence and who are unable to provide shelter for
themselves. This fundamental lack of empathy, understanding and engagement reflects poorly on the State, which has the constitutional responsibility to provide for those who lack access
The issue of whether sexual assault occurred is a legal issue and not a medical diagnosis.
Consequently, doctors should not, on the basis of the medical examination conclude whether rape had occurred or not. Only findings in relation to medical findings should be recorded in the medical report.
It is crucial to underscore that the size of the vaginal introitus has no bearing on a case of sexual assault, and therefore a test to ascertain the laxity of the vaginal muscles which is commonly referred to as the two-finger test must not be conducted. On the basis of this test observations/ conclusions such as 'habituated to sexual intercourse' should not be made and this is forbidden by law
We also are of the opinion that the medico-legal examination report should note the date and time of examination and be sent without delay to the concerned investigating officer. To avoid unnecessary delays, the report must be transmitted to the IO by way of email (as a secure PDF file – digitally signed where possible), in addition to sending by way of regular government post. It is in this background that Section 164A was introduced to the CrPC.
We are also of the opinion that the medical examination of a rape/sexual assault victim must
necessarily take place under the supervision of a senior female obstetrician/gynaecologist. In the
event an obstetrician/gynaecologist is not available, it shall be a senior female doctor who
will examine a rape victim. We also recommend that in order to ensure that there is a consensus of opinion on the medical examination, a board of three doctors must examine a rape/sexual assault victim. We believe it is important that the deliberations of the said board of doctors be recorded as an audio recording, which must be later made available to a court to satisfy itself that there has been a fair consensus building in relation to the opinion formation as far as the victim is concerned
(a) Every Police Station shall have available round the clock a lady police official/ officer not below the rank of Head Constable.
(b) As soon as a complaint of the offence is received, the duty officer receiving the complaint/
information shall call the lady police official/ officer present at the police station and make the victim and her family comfortable.
We are also of the opinion that the medical examination report must be prepared, preferably
immediately after the examination, but most certainly on the same date as the examination and must be forwarded to the investigating agency forthwith without delay. The DNA and other samples should be sent to the concerned Forensic Science Labs or DNA Profiling Centres within two days of the incident.
The Committee is of the opinion that in cases of rape/sexual assault, additional representation, if
sought, is made available to the complainant/victim prior to and during the trial.
While the sole responsibility of carriage of prosecuting a crime lies with the State, we
consider it necessary to suggest that in rape/sexual assault cases the complainant and/or
the victim must have the opportunity to engage his/her own lawyer. The said lawyer would also
be permitted to assist the prosecutor, examine witnesses and make submissions to the Court.
We have also taken note of proviso to Section 24(8) of the CrPC which empowers the Court to permit the victim to engage an advocate of his/her choice to assist the prosecution under this Section. However, we would like to add that it is necessary to confer an independent right of representation in favour of the victim. In other words, we wish to make it clear that it should be a statutory right as a part of due process of access to justice that the victim/complainant will be able to engage a lawyer of his or her choice – that is, the victim’s advocate should have a right of audience in his/her own right, and not merely in a support capacity to the prosecutor. The Committee believes that this will add an additional level of oversight in the trial process.
The 42nd Law Commission then stated that even this was not enough. It would be necessary to
amend Section 53 of the Evidence Act and insert Section 53A which says:-
“In a prosecution for rape or attempt to commit rape where the question of consent for sexual intercourse or attempt to sexual intercourse is at issue, evidence of the character of the prosecutrix or a previous sexual experience with any person other than the accused shall
not be on the issue of such consent or the quality of consent.”
We recommend the enactment of Section 53A as suggested by the 42nd Law Commission.
We are constrained to observe that criminal justice system is not working in our country as it should. The police reforms have not taken place despite directions of this Court in the case of Prakash Singh & Ors vs Union of India & Ors. We do not intend to say anything more
in this regard since matter is being dealt with separately by a 3-Judge Bench. The investigators hardly have professional orientation; they do not have modern tools.
On many occasions impartial investigation suffers because of political interference. The criminal trials are protracted because of non-appearance of official witnesses on time and the non-availability of the facilities for recording evidence by video conferencing.
The public prosecutors have their limitations”
The committee takes the view that in line with Prakash Singh, implementation of the Supreme
Court directions need not await the framing of a new Police Act. Until an Act, on the lines of the
Model Police Act, proposed by the Sorabjee Drafting Committee, or that which is annexed to
the 8th report of the National Police Commission, is passed by Parliament and implemented across the country, the seven directions in Prakash Singh must be complied forthwith
This Committee recommends that the guidelines issued for the police by the High Court of Delhi in Delhi Commission for Women v. Lalit Pandey and another197 must be mandatory and immediately followed in relation to all sexual offence complaints across the Country.
All police stations should have CCTV’s at the entrance of the police station, in police cells and in the questioning room. All PCR vans should also contain CCTV’s.
In addition to every individual being able to register an FIR at any police station irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the crime was complained of in writing, every individual must
also be able to register his complaint online on a designated website. After this a complaint number should be automatically generated so the complainant can track the FIR.
In this Committee’s view every police officer on patrol is under a moral, legal and Constitutional
duty to assist the victim of any traffic accident or crime irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred or irrespective of the jurisdiction of the police station from which such officers are operating. This is especially important in relation to sexual offences.
The investigative branch of the police should have the appropriate scientific equipment and
training to be able to conduct the highest standards of investigation in every case. In
relation to sexual offences this includes in the collection of forensic, medical and written
evidence and preservation and investigation of crime scenes.
The total number of police personnel present on the street needs to be increased. It is
especially important that the number of female police personnel on patrol and on duty in
police stations is increased; so that females feel comfortable in complaining of sexual
harassment or threats of a sexual nature to any member of the police.
We also have found that political parties have given tickets to twenty-seven (27) candidates who contested the State elections in the last 5 years who have declared that they have been charged with rape. The names of such candidates are not being reproduced in this report but are readily accessible from the information provided by the Association for Democratic Reform from their website.
Sexuality education is the process of assisting young people in their physical, social, emotional and moral development as they prepare for adulthood, marriage, parenthood and ageing, as well as their social relationships in the context of family and society. The need to impart appropriate education on sexuality is an important issue that parents and teachers must acknowledge and address if they want to make sure that their children are well adjusted and safe, and will grow up to be mature and balanced individuals.
In our view, it is the duty of the State to provide clear, well informed and scientifically grounded
sexuality education based on the universal values of respect for human rights
We are indeed surprised to note that notwithstanding the outstanding work which had
been undertaken by UNESCO, which has compiled a 2-volume “International Technical
Guidance on Sexuality Education”, the Indian education framework has not adopted any of these salutary practices in being able to propound the introduction and clear transmission of knowledge relating to sex, choices, respect, avoidance of conflicts and understanding of the consequences of choices made by children and young adults. The said UNESCO guidance pithily points out the necessity of imparting sexuality education at an early age to students:
It is time for the judiciary to step in to discharge the constitutional mandate of enforcing
fundamental rights and implementation of the rule of law
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Read Full Report prepared by Justice JS Verma suggested amendment of criminal law Crimes against women
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Thursday, January 24, 2013
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24 January 2013
Know Important 78 Facts Suggestions given by Justice JS Verma in a report amendment of criminal law Crimes against women