Nation braces for tougher laws and reforms in education to fight the menace
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha on Tuesday directed implementation of a 12-point reform measure in the state to curb crime against women, besides proposing death penalty and chemical castration for rapists.
Unveiling a slew of measures through an official order in Chennai, Jayalalitha said sexual abuse and offences against women will be considered “grave crimes” and police investigation into such cases will be expedited. Besides, progress in the cases will be subjected to weekly reviews by SPs and DIGs concerned.
Only woman police officers will investigate such cases, even as the Goondas Act will be modified to make way for more stringent action against rapists. To expedite trial against offenders in such cases, fast track Mahila courts will be set up in every district, the chief minister announced.
Trials in cases of sexual abuse against women will be conducted on a daily basis and remand provisions for offenders will also be made stricter, from 15 days at present to 30 days. The state will also appoint woman lawyers to handle cases in the Mahila courts.
Observing that Tamil Nadu was among the first states in the country to have enacted the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Against Women Act, Jayalalitha said the police will be imparted special training on handling such cases in a sensitive manner.
“Sensitisation will be done through in-service training programmes, the Tamil Nadu Police Academy for higher level officers and the Police Recruit Schools,” Jayalalitha said.
Besides, the state will bear the medical expenses of the victims, a 24/7 helpline for women involving NGOs working towards ensuring women’s safety will be launched and CCTVs will be installed in all public buildings, she added.
Urging the Centre to consider amendment to laws dealing with crime against women, Jaytalalitha said the Centre could consider making sexual offences non-bailable.
She advocated a maximum punishment of death penalty for those convicted and chemical castration for those who indulged in sexual offences against women.