News / Asia

Panel Slams Police in India Rape Case, Rejects Death Penalty

Sheetal, 23, who works at a night call center, poses for a photograph outside her office in New Delhi, January 12, 2013.
Sheetal, 23, who works at a night call center, poses for a photograph outside her office in New Delhi, January 12, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— India needs to implement existing laws, not introduce tougher punishment such as the death penalty, to prevent rape, a government panel set up to review legislation said on Wednesday, following a brutal gang rape that shook the nation.

Panel head justice J.S. Verma rejected outright the idea of the death penalty for rape cases, a demand from some protesters and politicians in the days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student was attacked on a moving bus.

"There was an overwhelming opinion against the death penalty, even women's groups opposed this," Verma told a news conference. This recommendation was in line with the opinions of rights organizations concerned harsh new laws would not solve the rising number of reported sexual assault cases in India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked Verma to look at possible amendments of criminal law in response to public anger after the rape and subsequent death of the student, who was assaulted with metal bars and dumped bleeding on a highway.

In that case, because the woman died of her injuries, the five accused have been charged with murder and face the death penalty if found guilty. The victim died of massive organ damage in a Singapore hospital two weeks after the attack.

Hearings in the case against the accused begin in a fast track sessions court on Thursday. The court must decide which of the prosecution's charges it will hear before a trial formally begins.

Separately, the Supreme Court is hearing a petition to move the case out of Delhi, after one of the accused said strong public opinion in the city would prejudice the case.

Verma said he was shocked to hear top government officials congratulate the Delhi police chief's handling of the case, when, he said, police negligence was to blame for a climate of insecurity in New Delhi, known as India's "rape capital."

"Practically every serious breach of the rule of law can be traced to the failure of performance by the persons responsible for its implementation," the recommendations submitted to the government by Verma on Wednesday stated.

The report said the failure of public functionaries responsible for traffic regulation and law and order enabled the Delhi gang rape, and said the case had revealed "officials' low and skewed priority of dealing with complaints of sexual assault".

He also rejected lowering the age juveniles can be tried as adults, a demand from some politicians and protesters. A sixth accused in the case has told police he is under 18, meaning he would face a maximum three year sentence if found guilty.

The panel did recommend other milder forms of sexual harassment be more strictly legislated against and punished.

"Sexual assault degenerates to its gravest form of rape beginning with uncontrolled sexual harassment in milder forms, which remain uncontrolled. It has, therefore to be curbed at the initial stage."

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Md. Shahjahan from: Bangladesh
January 23, 2013 12:44 PM
Any stringent law created opportunity to miseuse it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid