The former Chief Justice of India, J.S. Verma, who recently chaired the panel that came out with recommendations on improving women’s security, died on Monday following multiple organ failure. He was 80.
Justice Verma was admitted to Medanta Medicity Hospital in neighbouring Gurgaon on Friday with a serious liver condition. His condition deteriorated rapidly. Justice Verma, who became the 27th CJI on March 25, 1997 and retired on January 18, 1998, was appointed chairman of the three-member committee to suggest legal reforms to deal with sexual assault cases in the wake of the December 16, 2012 gang-rape case in Delhi.
The committee, which included the former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice Leila Seth, and the former Solicitor-General of India Gopal Subramaniam, submitted its report within just 29 days following wide consultation with all stakeholders.
It recommended the death penalty in the rarest of the rare rape cases and opposed lowering the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16. It also called for enhancing the minimum sentence for rape from seven to 10-year jail.