St Stephen’s alumni to Verma panel: Need effective courts
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An alumni association of St Stephen's College — Association of Old Stephanians — has written to the three-member committee headed by Justice J S Verma, stressing the need for an "effective criminal justice system, comprising able policing and effective working of courts" to fight crime against women.
Giving detailed suggestions on the steps to improve the working of police force, the letter also talks about sensitisation of police personnel and schoolchildren. It also talks about the depiction of women in advertisements and films, Ashish Joshi, spokesperson of the association, said. The association has also called for an amendment of the Juvenile Justice Act, asking for a reduction in age limit from 18 to 15.
With regard to building an efficient and sensitive police force, the letter said there is a need to adopt state-of-art crime detection and forensic methods. It said there should be two levels of induction in the police force. The multiple-level of entry in police force, according to the association, means a "tremendous hierarchy of induction and recruitment".
Suggestions were also made regarding the filing of police complaints. "A single-window mechanism (should) be introduced in each district for lodging complaints. Such complaint offices (should) be manned by women police officers. Women helpline should also be set up in each district, with in-built response time," the letter said.
Calling for immediate implementation of recommendations for police reforms, the association said a police complaints authority at the state-level should be established by the government to look into misconduct against police officers of any rank.
The association also drew the attention of the committee to the introduction of the jury system on the lines of that in the western countries. "The introduction of the jury system... shall greatly improve the working of the courts, both in terms of the time taken to decide (and) with the quality of the verdicts," the letter said.
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