Men in uniform must be tried under civil law for rapes: Kiran Bedi

Jan 28, 2013

Srinagar: Former IPS officer-turned-social activist Kiran Bedi today said she fully supported the Justice Verma recommendations for amending the law related to sexual harassment that will end impunity for members of armed forces if involved in cases like rape.

"If a man in uniform, be it a policeman or army man, commits rape, he should face trial under civil law and not court martial. I fully support the Justice Verma recommendation on this," Bedi told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Kiran Bedi. Reuters

Kiran Bedi. Reuters

Calling the amendment "need of the hour", Bedi said it will also end impunity for men in uniform for heinous crimes like rape if the safety of the women folk in the country is to be ensured.  "Only then, they (men in uniform) will be protectors and not betrayers," she said.

Bedi, a member of India Against Corruption, said she also supported the recommendation regarding action against superior officers of belt forces for failing to act in cases where such an offence is committed by a subordinate and is brought to their notice.

She said while the recommendations made by Justice Verma commission were "very very good", it was up to the Centre to accept them.

The former IPS officer, however, refused to comment on opposition from the Army for revoking Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state.

Bedi also urged the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to work with the State Vigilance Commission to fight corruption in the
state.    "The youth of the country will have to come together and fight corruption. If anyone is asked for a bribe, five of them should go and ask the official why?" she said.

Bedi, here to attend a function organised by a private management institute from Punjab, said students from Kashmir
should dedicate themselves to the cause of seeking and spreading education.   On the collaboration between Kashmir University, the management institute and the Jammu and Kashmir Bank in providing scholarships to the students, she said "this is how things should be done".

"The university, the management institute and the bank have got together in providing scholarships to deserving,
desiring and needy students. This is an education revolution that should be replicated across the country," she said.

PTI

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