Lok Satta

Thursday, 27 December 2012 07:14

LSP SUBMITS PROPOSED PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS TO JUSTICE VERMA COMMITTEE

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Transcript of our letter sent to Justice Verma Committee giving suggestions for consideration. The letter was compiled with the efforts of Shri Praneet Sushil, Shri Ashish Roy, Shri B.B. Tewari and Shri Deepak Gupta among others.

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26th December 2012

Justice Verma Committee
New Delhi.

SUBJECT: SUGGESTIONS FOR PROGRESSIVE MEASURES

Respected Justice Verma

Lok Satta Party is very concerned on the safety of citizens in the Capital as all are and criminal activity in the last few months have made the entire population of Delhi sit up and become emotionally charged looking for solutions.

The situation in capital as has been pointed out in our earlier letters to you have become very bad and mostly unsafe for citizens maybe old age couples, youngsters especially women/females wherein the criminal operate fearlessly with no regard for the law as they are protected by the politicians and in most cases by police.

New Delhi being the capital of the country should be setting extremely high standards in th safety and security of their citizens and upholding law whereas it is to the contrary. Criminals operate with total impunity to the rule of law making it a JUNGLE RAJ.

Lok Satta Party would like to present our views before your Honour and put forth their suggestions for your Honour's kind consideration.

Root Causes and Effects

1.    Mindset - man and woman, both
Many men have a mindset of treating woman as second grade citizens and that reflects in the way women are being treated. Women also have a mindset of social stigma attached to being rape/molestation victims. This leads to a lot of such cases not being reported to police.
1.    Mindset – police
Police are not sensitive enough to handle such cases and instead blame the victim of being in the situation at the first place. This pushes the victims further from the police and adds to the trust deficit between police and public.
2.    Cumbersome process to file FIR
Filing an FIR in such cases is equally cumbersome and inconvenient as in other crime cases. This pushes the public further from the police and discourages victims from filing reports. (According to NCRB, only 10% is such cases get reported)
3.    Ill lit roads
Many roads in the city are ill lit making such places unsafe for women.
4.    Stingless law
Existing laws are too lenient on the convicts, which don’t act as required deterrent against such crimes
5.    Extremely slow justice system
Our slow justice system ensures that culprits are not punished for a very long time that gives them the opportunity to influence the victims and witnesses. Moreover, the agony of the victim is prolonged for years and doesn’t allow them to move on in life.
6.    Political interference in police functioning
Unwanted political interference has rendered policing highly ineffective. Time has some to set policing free from political interference.
7.    Police to public ratio is abysmally low.
This has resulted to ineffective policing to a large extent. Every now and then, blame is being put on the police staff strength for police inefficiency, which is true, but no effective action has been taken to resolve this. This has led to overworked, demotivated, and corrupt police force.
8.    Public transport system has become very unsafe not only for women for general public
Mafia operating the public transport system has undermined the efficiency and safety aspect of the system. Vested interest and eye only for money, has led to a lot of illegal and unqualified hiring of persons to run vehicles in this system, leading to reduction of safety and efficiency.
9.    Less representation of women in police force
Women are far less represented in the police force compared to their population in country. This has added to insensitivity of police towards crime against women. Also, the victims of crime against women don’t feel comfortable speaking to male police officers about such incidents and this discourages them from filing complaints.
10.    Lack of public participation in day-to-day policing
This has led to trust deficit and inefficiencies in information gathering mechanism and thus preventing crimes. Citizens should be seen as active partners of police in dealing with crime.
11.    Lack of CCTVs in public places and roads. This has led to lack of key proofs to convict culprits and act as deterrent.

Lok Satta Party as a constructive political party is offering solution for the problems as under:

Solutions:

•    Compulsory awareness classes in schools, colleges, and corporate offices every year.
•    Compulsory training of police on sensitization on women issues and rights.
•    Only woman police (in plain clothes with ID) to visit the victim (either home or hospital or any other convenient place) to lodge FIR. Whole meeting to be video recorded. Visit to police station should not be compulsory. Police visiting victim should be in plain clothes.
•    Dedicated phone line to lodge FIR for rape and molestation cases. This should be answered only by women staff. All calls should be recorded.
•    Women to given equipment that can be used to raise alarm and/or connect directly to nearest police post (need to see if there is any such technology is available).
•    Amend existing law to increase sentences for rape convicts to life time imprisonment, and molestation convicts to 5 years RI. Proper and clear definition of rape to be incorporated in the relevant law.
•    Public vehicles (buses, cabs and others) should display a specific fluorescent color on the vehicle in the night to signify a lady travelling in the vehicle so that such vehicles are highlighted in eyes of public and police and necessary attention is provided by police. People defying this law should be fined heftily. AND/OR we can make switching on the cabin lights compulsory in the night in all vehicles.
•    Fast-track courts to be set up hear cases on crimes against women. The victim should be called to the court for minimum possible time and a representation should be allowed. If possible, such cases should be heard by woman judges.
•    Implement 7 directives of the Supreme Court order of 2006 in the Prakash Singh case to bring in police reforms. Directives 2, 3 and 5 should be implemented immediately as ordered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in letter and spirit.
•    Implement Model Police Bill drafted by the police Act Drafting Committee in 2006, which is largely in line with the above-mentioned Supreme Court order.
•    Police officers to public ratio in India should be as per UN standards – 222 police officers per 1,00,000 citizens. This will reduce the burden on overworked policemen to a great extent, increase their work-life balance, make them happier in life and reflect that happiness while dealing with citizens on a day-to-day basis.
•    All persons involved in operating public transport system such as drivers, conductors, cleaners, owner of buses should be sanitized by the Police authority and a compliance report be filed with the government and this report be made public. A transparent and unbiased process should be developed to verify all such operators including domestic helps and security guards deployed in societies and corporate offices.
•    At least 25% of the posts (at all levels – state, district, and PS ) should be reserved for women. Have women personnel at all levels in a police station will provide required representation in policing and help in restoring women’s confidence and trust in police. A women-all team should be constituted in all police stations that will look into cases of crimes against women always, without any exception.
•    The concept of thana committees (including police and civil society) should be impletement in letter and spirit. At least 25% seats in such committees should be reserved for women to provide proper representation. Such committees working and appointments should be done in an objective and transparent manner to increase and encourage common people to help police in policing.
•    All market areas, high density roads, and all public transports (buses and taxis) should install CCTVs. The working of such cameras should be inspected on a regular basis and the report should be shared with the government and made public. Clear responsibility should be set to ensure proper working of such cameras and any non-compliance should be dealt with harshly according to law. Cost to install cameras in market areas and public transport can be borne by the market associations and vehicle owners, respectively. Cameras for roads can funded by the state governments and central government in case of union territories.

We sincerely hope the committee will look in to the suggestions and come out with strong laws which will act as a deterrent for criminals.

Best regards




Anurag Kejriwal
Delhi State President & Member National Steering Committee
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We hope that the government is really serious in enacting strong laws.