Jyoti Singh Pandey: India Gang Rape Trial, Verma report

Text above is from IBNLive

The Committe on Amendments to Criminal Law is not a body most would expect to be efficient or timely in a place like India, but that is just what they were with what people are now calling the 'Verma Report.'  Retired Justice J.S. Verma and his Committee have issued a lengthy almost-650 page report on the need for change of sexual assault and rape laws in the country, their enforcement, and the judicial processes associated.  

 

In a country where Darrell Issa (CA-49) is still allowed to hold an entire hearing on birth control without a single woman present or allowed to testify, the woman on the Committee weighs in on the report she co-authored: 

           

Here some important points highlighted in the Report.  

 

- In part because one of the accused in the Delhi trial is 17 and technically a minor and several of the 80,000 suggestions received from the public by the Committee, Verma recommends lowering the age when an accused rapist can be tried as an adult to 16.  

 

- The Report says that the police are to blame in part for the large number of brutal rapes occuring and that it should be mandatory for police officers to register every case of reported rape, whether they feel it is socially acceptable or not.  Verma makes an important distinction between law and culture here.  

 

-Corruption is open and rampant in India, from politicians to policeman.  In most cases, the bribes are relatively harmless and just the way you do business in the rest of the world.  However, there is a dangerous and detrimental kind of corruption as well.  In addition, the police in Delhi were seen as unnecessarily violent towards protesters back in late December, using tear gas, water cannons, and charging at people with batons.  Verma is asking for a re-examination of every appointed state police chief in the country.  

 

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Mythili Sampathkumar

Mythili is a freelance writer/journalist based in New York City. She blogs at www.restlessrani.com. Views expressed are my own and are not representative of my employers.

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