Justice Mehra report lambasts Delhi Police for lapses in Delhi gangrape case, recommends a slew of reforms
The Justice Usha Mehra Commission, set up to probe the lapses on part of the authorities in the December 16 gangrape incident, has slammed the police and the Delhi government's transport department for their lack of coordination and "negligent attitude", which the panel said allowed the heinous crime to occur.
In its report submitted to Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on Friday, the government-appointed commission has lambasted the authorities and called for a slew of reforms to improve the law and order situation.
The one-member panel has called for amendment in section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) dealing with evidence recorded by a magistrate to be treated as 'examination on chief' and that there should be a provision for cross-examination through video-conferencing.
Talking to Mail Today Justice Mehra explained: "We have suggested amendment of section 164 CrPc so that the victim's statement is treated as her examination in chief and the victim doesn't have to come to the court."
Justice Mehra underlined the thin public transport system in Delhi , stressing that more government-operated buses should run at night.
The commission has also urged for the formation of a supervision committee to keep a check on the work being done by police. Justice Mehra said: "A supervision committee comprising professionals, retired army personnel, RWA members and other responsible members should be formed by the government to keep a watch on the work being done by the police station in the area."
The commission has rapped the police and the city transport department, saying lack of coordination between them allowed the bus used in December 16 gangrape case to ply uninterrupted despite being fined many times.
Justice Mehra said: "We have found that transport department had no information about the antecedents of the bus owner or the driver. Had they verified it, the bus (in which the incident happened) would not have been plying on roads. The police has also been severely negligent.
They challaned this bus many times but did not inform the transport department. Had they done that, the bus's permit would have been cancelled."
The law minister, on his part, said the Centre will take suitable action to the extent possible on the recommendations. "The commission prepared the report ahead of time. It has concentrated on three to four principal issues - sensitisation of police, coordination of the police and transport departments, and sensitisation of the media," he said.
The panel has suggested that there should be a revisit on the education standards.
Justice Mehra, a retired judge of the Delhi High Court, said a system should be put in place in which there should be a push button in mobile phones through which family or police could be reached immediately when anyone is in distress.
The panel has suggested separation of investigation agency from law and order duties in order to ensure a fair probe.