The HC said the remuneration issue has to be considered and listed the matter for hearing on August 16.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Tuesday said there was an urgent need to prevent sexual violence against women and children and decided to set up a panel to look into the issue and suggest measures.
Hearing pleas filed by two NGOs, a two-judge bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said there cannot be any possible objection to setting up a committee to look into the issue and suggest preventive measures to control such crimes and appropriate sentencing.
The court was also of the view that an important aspect related to such crimes was reformation of the persons convicted. "Reformation of the convicts is the real need of society," it said. As regards the panel, the court accepted the names — Vidya Reddy of TULIR, an organisation working on the prevention and healing of child sexual abuse in India, advocate Vrinda Bhandari and Swagata Raha of Centre for Child and Law, NLSIU — suggested by amicus curiae Aparna Chandra and asked the counsel to take instructions from the Centre on remuneration to be paid to the members.
The high court also noted that the names suggested by the amicus were of experts dealing with the issue of sexual violence against women and children and are also actively engaged in ground level work. More members are likely to be added to the panel.
The court said the remuneration aspect has to be urgently considered by the central government and listed the matter for hearing on August 16.
The bench was hearing two petitions challenging the proposed amendment in the criminal law to prescribe death sentence for gang rape of girl under 12 years of age. The petitions claimed that the proposed amendment was a regressive step and should be declared null and void.
The petitions have claimed that the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, set up after the infamous Nirbhaya gangrape case in 2012, to recommend amendments to the criminal law for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for sexual assault against women, had said death penalty would be a regressive step.
The petitions also claimed the ordinance to provide for death penalty for child rape convicts was promulgated without consulting Law Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.