Cong Govt Rattled by Verma Report
The pathbreaking Verma Committee report has unnerved the discredited Congress-led government and there is a big chance that some visionary recommendations could be red-flagged
Sadiq Naqvi Delhi
The government and bureaucracy have been equally rattled by the findings and recommendations of the Justice JS Verma Commission (Read full report). The Union home ministry which had on Thursday (January 24) put up the full report on its website (www.mha.nic.in), has now pulled it down without giving any reasons. Not only this, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde too has shied away from giving any statement. “It was never put up I think. Please check back on Monday,” Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, Additional Director General, Media and Communications told Hardnews.
Sources point out that the report has rattled and unnerved the Congress-led government and that there is a big chance that many of the recommendations could be red-flagged. It is also learnt that the Union home ministry will study the report and send its recommendations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The Union home ministry which had on Thursday (January 24) put up the full report on its website (www.mha.nic.in), has now pulled it down without giving any reasons
The three member commission in its extraordinary report, which has been widely appreciated across the civil society and by women’s and human rights groups, has also sought amendment in the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), and asked for no impunity for those security personnel who commit sexual offences. This view too has not been taken too kindly by the government and conservative mandarins who cling onto the status quo at any cost. Maintaining that the review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is a difficult issue “because the context is different”, Union law minister Ashwani Kumar said in an interview. He added: “How do you divide the action taken in the line of duty where the circumstances are such that nobody knows what is going to happen?”
There is also considerable unease within this fledgling regime which is very low on credibility on another recommendation which says that if a public servant in command, control or supervision of police or armed forces fails to exercise control over persons under him or her, and as a result of such failure sexual crimes are committed, then the officer will be guilty of the offence of breach of command responsibility.
The women rights groups have hailed the report. Earlier, their path-breaking collective and united participation in the movement and comprehensive statement had given a rational and visionary perspective to the issue of violence against women, even while decisively shifting the debate from the cacophony of death penalty and chemical castration