Verma panel to examine TV interview of victim’s friend

The Justice J S Verma Committee — constituted by the government to suggest changes in criminal laws dealing with sexual offences — will also examine the CD containing the TV interview of the friend of the Delhi gangrape victim who alleged that the police took more than two hours to take them to hospital. The Ministry of Home Affairs, which is also inquiring into the allegations made by the victim's friend, has sent the CD to the committee.

The committee will submit its final report on January 23. It has received more than 75,000 emails.

The report will run into two volumes, an official said.

The committee will include suggestions regarding changes in law dealing with sexual assault on women with disabilities.

On Monday last, the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled submitted suggestions to the committee saying that such women are "three times more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse as compared to other women".

"Girls and women with disabilities are more vulnerable to exploitation. They are considered soft targets with the perpetrators assuming that they can get away easily," a memorandum submitted by NPRD said.

"In many cases such women are unable to comprehend about such act. In many cases they are not taken seriously either by the police or the judicial system," it added.

The NGO represents 24 organisations.

"We were given a patient hearing by the committee," said Muralidharan, assistant convenor of NPRD.

"A large number of women with disabilities are abused within institutions like hospitals and shelter homes. This has to be checked," the NPRD suggested. It cited instances of sexual abuse of disabled women.

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