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How Congress, led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, was flippant about rape-related legal framework after Nirbhaya case

The Congress party was so indifferent to the Justice Verma headed committee on Nirbhaya Case that neither Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde nor Union Home Secretary RK Singh were present to accept the report

Ahead of the eighth anniversary of the Nirbhaya case and on the occasion of Sonia Gandhi’s 74th birthday, it is important to revisit Congress party’s lackadaisical approach in implementing a harsh rape-related legal framework to deter growing incidents of rapes in the country. 

In the aftermath of the gruesome Nirbhaya case that shook the nation’s conscience towards the safety and security of her women population, the Congress-led UPA-II government formed a three-member team headed by CJI Verma(retd) to examine and suggest changes to the legal framework that would help in clamping down the surging rape incidents. The report was submitted by the committee on January 23, 2013. 

Congress representative visits Justice Verma’s residence late in midnight

In an interview with the Indian Express, Justice Verma revealed that a Congress member came to his house past midnight on January 5, insisting on personally handing over the party’s suggestions to the committee to him. The man was reportedly sent by Janardhan Dwivedi. 

Justice Verma summarily refused to accept the letter and asked the Congress member to either leave the letter at the gate or deliver it the next day at the committee’s office at Vigyan Bhawan. 

Naturally, the flippant behaviour of the representative of a national political party raised the hackles of the former Chief Justice. He brought the incident to the notice of a senior Congress leader and expressed his disapproval to him. 

Following this incident, Sonia Gandhi called Justice Verma and personally apologised for the misbehaviour of her party’s representative. 

Sushil Kumar Shinde did not bother to receive the committee report: Justice Verma

The former CJI had also revealed that the then Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who had appointed the committee, didn’t for once interact with the committee. The Congress party was so unconcerned about the committee’s report that neither Sushil Kumar Shinde nor Union Home Secretary R K Singh was present to accept the report. Instead, the report was accepted by the Joint Secretary in the ministry.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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