Finally, the recommendations of the justice J.S. Verma panel on sexual crimes have now legal force. On Sunday, President Pranab Mukherjee signed an ordinance amending the criminal law dealing with such matters.
What the government and the judiciary need to do is to ensure that frivolous procedural requirements are not used to derail cases involving sexual crimes. No number of “fast-track” courts can check this menace if legal roadblocks are used to the detriment of the victims.
The government’s response, especially the ordinance, has come in for criticism from women’s groups. The charge being that not all recommendations of the Verma panel have been accepted. Not all is lost for, after all, the ordinance has to be brought before Parliament sooner or later. Surely, changes, amendments and enhancements to the law can be carried out at that stage.