a retirement of public service
Justice Verma Committee
On December 16, 2012 a young woman was gang-raped on a bus by 6 assailants whilst coming home from watching Life of Pi. A public outcry for radical change was made stronger because of an unresponsive government.
The Government of the day constituted a three member panel to a report on legal reform to tackle sexual violence. The Chairman, Justice Verma, was joined by distinguished jurists Justice Leila Seth and Gopal Subramaniam.
The Committee, aided by a team of junior researchers, heard and read testimony from 80 000 people over 29 days.
This included extensive testimony from survivors of rape, trafficking and assault.
The 657 page report re-ordered its remit and argued it could only tackle sexual violence by tackling all its foundations: in society, politics, culture, law and imagination.
It spared few, blaming poor governance and policing for high incidences of sexual violence, but equally condemning social mindframes and regressive social institutions for underpinning patriarchy.
It challenged the widespread sexual violence that occurred under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and argued for making soldiers liable to criminal proceedings for such action.
The revolutionary report was nationally and internationally acclaimed.
Right to information
Justice Verma prominently lent his support to the Right to Information movement and worked for its implementation.