Govt Issues Notification to Review Sexual Assault Laws
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Facing growing protests over the gang-rape incident here, Government tonight issued a notification for reviewing the existing laws in a bid to provide speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault.

Announcing this, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said a three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma has been constituted to give recommendations on amending existing laws. The panel has been given 30 days to give its report to the government.

The Committee will look into possible amendments to criminal law for providing quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women.

The other members of the committee are Justice (retd) Leila Seth (former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court) and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanian.

Under the existing law, the maximum punishment for rape is a life term but the nation-wide outrage over the gang-rape of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus last Sunday night has sparked a demand for death penalty for rape convicts. BJP has also favoured death for perpetrators of such crime and demanded a special session of Parliament for amending the laws.

Shinde said the notification showed the government is serious about taking stringent action against those involved in the Delhi gang-rape case at the earliest.

"The notification reflects how serious the government is. I assure the country that we are serious," he told reporters here.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar earlier in the day said a Committe is being formed to examine the possibility of enhancing punishment for rape laws.
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