Mumbai: A committee set up by the Maharashtra government to recommend measure to curb crime against women, has suggested a clamp down on obscene and offensive material available on the Internet and social networking sites.
Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari committee has also suggested that a rape accused, who is fifteen years old or above, must not be treated as a juvenile.
There is an urgent need to impose restrictions on objectionable material which is easily available on the Internet as it has the tendency to "corrupt young minds", says the third interim report of the committee.
The copy of the report was produced before the Bombay High Court last week during the hearing on a public interest litigation filed by NGO `Help Mumbai Foundation`.
There should be immediate restrictions on "networking, Facebook, mobile phone and vulgar and indecent conversations and exchange of pictures", the committee says.
Another recommendation is that names of the people convicted for crimes against women be published. This would bring about awareness and prevent such crimes, it says.
Further, it says, those who do not report the crimes against women too should be treated as offenders. "Being a mute spectator is a crime," says the committee.
The panel castigates the police for being insensitive to the women. If a police officer refuses to take cognisance of a crime against women, he should be prosecuted and his senior should be held responsible too, it suggests. The committee also recommended that political parties should not give tickets to candidates accused of crimes against women.
Taking note of the misery that a rape victim is subjected to in the existing legal system, the committee has asked the State to consider the suggestion of Justice Gyansudha Mishra of the Supreme Court that victim`s statement should be recorded only once, before a Magistrate, and be treated as testimony to spare her the pain of repeating the tale of agony during the trial.
Every school should have a `complaint redressel cell` for girls, it says.
Appreciating the suggestion of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister that those accused of molestation or rape should be denied passport and driving license, the committee has said that the government may consider this.
The committee gave its first interim report in December 2010 and second in September 2011. The third one was submitted to the Government on February 16 this year.