‘Transfer sexual assault cases to fast-track courts’

Amid public outrage over the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in Delhi, representatives of several women's organisations on Monday met President Pranab Mukherjee for transfer of all pending sexual assault cases to fast-track courts. They also sought enactment of laws that provide more "stringent" punishment and "time-bound" judicial processes in such cases.

The delegation led by CPM leader Brinda Karat also demanded action against top Delhi police officials including its commissioner for "wilfully failing" to implement the Home Ministry guidelines to ensure safety of women in Delhi.

They urged Mukherjee to "use his good offices" to make the government accept and bring in accountability at different levels for rising crimes against women. "Who is responsible for the increasing crime graph against women and children in Delhi and what action is to be taken against them?" they asked pointing out that the statements of Prime Minister and Home Minister did not address the issue comprehensively.

Besides the issue of justice for the victim, they sought a standard operating procedure (SOP) for crime against women that should include immediate filing of FIR, speedy and time-bound probe and bringing the case before court.

"Any policeman violating the SOP should be punished. Senior police officials must monitor the security measures and implementation of SOP," they said in a memorandum handed over to the President.

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