CPM attacks govt for doing 'injustice' to Justice Verma panel's recommendations

The CPI-M today attacked the government for doing "injustice" to the Justice Verma Committee recommendations against sexual violence and said the ordinance issued on the matter went against all democratic norms.

Disapproving the ordinance "on both procedural as well as substantive grounds", the party said "when Parliament is scheduled to meet in three weeks, it is against democratic norms to issue such an ordinance."

It said the ordinance has rejected the Verma Committee's recommendations on issues like making rape a gender specific crime in the law, on increasing the punishment to public servants guilty of dereliction of duty, of increasing the punishment and guaranteed compensation for victims of acid attacks and was "highly selective" about other suggestions.

"The ordinance has thus done injustice to the Verma Committee report and appears to be a diversion from the serious issues raised of state culpability," including on issues like inclusion of armed forces in the ambit of criminal law, the CPI-M Politburo said in a statement.

On the provision of death penalty in the ordinance but not recommended by the Verma panel, the major Left party said the category of 'rarest of the rare' cases was already part of the legal framework and would include cases of rape and murder also, which has been reiterated by Justice Verma.

In a statement, the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) too objected to the "selective and arbitrary approach" of the Government to the recommendations".

"We strongly feel that the UPA-2 should have adopted a holistic approach to the Verma Committee report, rather than doing a pick and choose exercise, thereby undermining the efforts of the committee in providing a multi sectoral, comprehensive framework to tackle rape and sexual assault.

"The present piecemeal and fragmented ordinance can only serve to sabotage the intention of providing recourse to victims of sexual violence."

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