The promulgation of the ordinance amending laws on sexual assault is a step in the right direction. But the opposition to it by some women’s groups and the CPI(M) is unfortunate. The UPA government has accepted most of the crucial recommendations made by the Justice Verma Committee. Some others have been left to be discussed in Parliament. An ordinance is promulgated to meet an immediate need and address the public expectations on a crucial and sensitive issue. It obviously cannot be exhaustive and all-inclusive. It should avoid any provision which is likely to face stiff opposition on the floor of Parliament. All groups have ample opportunity to put forth their points before the parliamentary committee at the time of drafting the Bill. The MPs can debate the Bill in detail when it is taken up for consideration.

S.V. Venkatakrishnan, Bangalore

Taking into consideration the urgency of the need to amend laws dealing with sexual assault, following the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in New Delhi, which resulted in her death, the Cabinet has cleared the ordinance. The government deserves praise for duly considering the gravity of the issue and acting without waiting for the budget session.

Vijay D. Patil, Pune

One wonders why the Verma Committee was constituted. Its major suggestions have been ignored. Hastily made laws will serve no purpose. The government should reconsider the ordinance, giving more importance to the panel recommendations.

Kuttetira Poovanna, Kodagu

Just as rape needs to be punished severely, those who make false accusations should also be dealt with in a tough manner. A false accusation of rape damages a person’s reputation. Disgruntled employees and unscrupulous elements try to settle scores by making malicious accusations. Hasty arrests are sensationalised in the media. Often, little publicity is given when the innocence of the accused is vindicated.

Matthew Adukanil, Dharmapuri

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