'Amend probing laws for cases of crimes against women'

Amend laws for time-bound investigation and trial of cases of crime against women: Parliament Panel

Parliament House New Delhi (PTI Photo)

A parliamentary standing committee has recommended for time-bound investigation and trial of the cases of crime against women, asking the government to consider amending the existing laws to provide for submission of charge-sheet by police in such cases within 30 days of the crime and the conclusion of the trial in courts within a period of six months to one year.

Necessary amendments should be made in the existing laws to also deny bail to the accused involved in “heinous crime” against women, the panel also recommended.

READ: Nirbhaya case: Delhi HC dismisses last minute plea by convicts seeking stay on execution

To expedite the trial of the pending cases and their time-bound disposal to provide “a reasonable time” for justice and surety of punishment, the panel recommended for setting up of permanent fast track courts with “appropriate legislative backing” along with a mandate to decide the cases within six months of the incident.

It also asked pitched for setting up women cells at all the police stations in the country with women police officers and other staff, asking the Union Home Ministry to discuss with the States to explore the possibility of conducting special recruitment drives for this.

“Delayed justice for Nirbhaya is a blot on our collective conscience and the public hailing of police action in Hyderabad case echoes the sentiment of the society that the guilty be punished immediately, are a call for introspection for both the Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs,” the House panel stated in its report.

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The 31-member department-related standing committee on Human Resource Development (HRD), headed by Rajya Sabha Member Satyanarayan Jatiya, presented its report on the ‘Issues related to Safety of Women” to Parliament on Thursday noted in its report.

The parliamentary panel took serious note of “a skewed distribution” of the fast track special courts across the States and asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to ensure their balanced distribution.

“For example, there are 18 fast track courts in Andhra Pradesh, 218 in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in Tamil Nadu and 31 in Karnataka,” the panel noted, suggesting that there should be one fast track special court within 500 km of radius.

ALSO READ: Tihar gets ready to execute Nirbhaya case convicts

The House also expressed its anguish taking note of the fact that a number of the States like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have still not given their concurrence for setting up fast track special courts.

It urged the Law and Justice Ministry to pursue the matter with such States to ensure that a total of 1800 fast track courts become operational “at the earliest.”

Noting that women continue to face severe forms of inequality, bias discrimination and violence the legislative framework being in place, the committee stressed on the need for strict implementation of the law relating to safety and security of women, and asked the Union government to bring about “integrated changes at all levels in the entire system.”

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