New Delhi: The Delhi government on Monday announced financial aid of Rs.15 lakh for the next of kin of the 23-year-old gang rape victim who died two days ago, and offered a job to a family member.
The decisions were taken at a cabinet meeting presided by chief minister Sheila Dikshit.
Meanwhile, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has written to all political parties seeking their suggestions on the issue of changing the law pertaining to rape. People familiar with the matter said Shinde asked political parties to send their suggestions to the Justice J.S. Verma committee, which has been constituted for reviewing the present statute to provide speedier justice in cases related to sexual crime.
The move comes in the midst of the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) demand for convening an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.
The Verma committee has sought suggestions from individuals, non-governmental organizations, women’s groups and others by the first week of January. The panel, set up by the government on 23 December, has been given 30 days to submit its report. The committee will look into possible amendments to the criminal law to provide 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 (retired) 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 life term, but the nationwide outrage over the 16 December gang-rape of the physiotherapy student in a moving bus in New Delhi has sparked a demand for death penalty to rapists.