The government has done the right thing by promulgating the ordinance on sexual offence (“Wanted: A Verma ordinance,” Feb. 4). The main demand of people after the Delhi gang rape was death penalty for rapists. This demand — along with most of the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee — has been taken into consideration. As for women’s groups which have opposed the ordinance, have they really brought about any significant change in the condition of women, particularly in villages?

B.P. Sharatchandran, Chennai

The omission of many recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee clearly exposes the unwillingness of the government to deal with sexual assault seriously. As for capital punishment for rape, it will only provoke the offender to kill the victim with the intention of destroying evidence, because in most rape cases the victim is the sole witness. It is now left to Parliament and progressive organisations to pressure the government into incorporating the much-needed recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee.

P.V. Subbarao, Visakhapatnam

What was the need to promulgate the ordinance in such a hurry when it cannot take retrospective effect with regard to the Delhi gang rape case? I am happy that the ordinance provides for death for rape leading to murder or leaving the victim in a vegetative state, although the Justice Verma Committee did not recommend it. The argument that the death penalty will enable the rapist to kill the victim is unfounded, for the person who commits such a heinous act is a beast and is quite oblivious of the consequences.

One expects loopholes such as false complaints to settle personal scores and to harass to be plugged and a constructive debate to take place in Parliament before the ordinance becomes law.

S. Mustafa, Visakhapatnam

Rape should be punished in the severest form, especially in the rarest of rare cases. But we should not lose sight of the innumerable instances of false accusations. We should also look at enacting laws that can deliver justice quickly for even common assault and battery, for which the offenders are rarely punished.

T. Kevin, Baiguinim

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