Delhi HC decides to set up panel to probe issue of sexual violence against women and children

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court said there was an urgent need to prevent sexual violence against women and children and decided to set up a panel to look into the issue and suggest measures on Tuesday.

Hearing pleas filed by two NGOs, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said there cannot be any possible objection to setting up a committee to look into the issue and suggest preventive measures to control such crimes and appropriate sentencing.

The court was also of the view that an important aspect related to such crimes was reformation of the persons convicted. "Reformation of the convicts is the real need of society," it said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

As regards the panel, the court accepted the names - Vidya Reddy (TULIR, an organisation working on the prevention and healing of child sexual abuse in India), Vrinda Bhandari (an advocate) and Swagata Raha (Centre for Child and Law, NLSIU) - suggested by amicus curiae Aparna Chandra and asked the counsel to take instructions from the Centre on remuneration to be paid to the members.

The bench noted that the names suggested by the amicus were of experts dealing with the issue of sexual violence against women and children and are also actively engaged in ground level work.
More members are likely to be added to the panel.

The court said the remuneration aspect has to be urgently considered by the central government and listed the matter for hearing on 16 August.

The bench was hearing two Public Interest Litigation (PILs) challenging the proposed amendment in the criminal law to prescribe death sentence for gang rape of girl under 12 years of age.

The petitions have claimed that the proposed amendment was a regressive step and should be declared void.

The pleas have claimed that the Justice JS Verma Committee, set up after the infamous Nirbhaya gangrape case of 2012 to recommend amendments to the criminal law for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for sexual assault against women, had said death penalty would be a regressive step.

The petitions also claimed that the ordinance to provide for death penalty for child rape convicts was promulgated without consulting the Law Commission, the National

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Updated Date: Jul 31, 2018 17:01:53 IST

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