Verma panel’s recommendations on AFSPA may not be implemented?
New Delhi: A day after Justice Verma panel made recommendations for changing laws to check crimes against women, government on Thursday indicated it may not be able to implement them in relation to AFSPA and disqualification of lawmakers.
Maintaining that the review of Armed Forces Special Powers Act was a difficult issue "because the context is different", Law Minister Ashwani Kumar told a news channel, "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?"
The Justice Verma Committee had recommended that armed forces and police personnel should not be given protection under the AFSPA if these men in uniform commit sexual offences against women.
On debarring politicians for committing crime against women, Kumar said, "Now, personally speaking--I am not speaking as the Law Minister of this country--but as a citizen and a lawyer, I believe that there should be at least one conviction by one court. When you are found to be guilty upon evidence before a penal consequence of being debarred is visited upon you."
He disagreed with suggestions on disqualifying politicians from contesting polls once court takes cognisance of cases against them.
The Verma Committee, set up to review laws dealing with crimes against women in the aftermath of the public outrage over the Delhi gang-rape incident, had recommended disqualification of politicians from contesting elections and there was no need to wait for the trial of a case to be over.
It favoured debarring politicians from contesting polls the moment a court takes cognisance of the offence committed by them.
"The terminology in law is one has to be found to be guilty upon evidence. My personal view is at least one court should have found you to be guilty before such a grave consequence is visited upon you," Kumar said.
Kumar said he was confident that the Justice Verma Committee report would be placed before Parliament during the Budget Session beginning next month.