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Delhi govt seeks public’s view on fighting crimes

New Delhi: Delhi government today sought the views of people on its proposal for reducing from 18 to 15 years the age of criminal responsibility for heinous crimes and also asked if life term or death penalty should be handed to those found guilty of serious crimes against children.

The move comes around a week after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on October 19 announced the formation of a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to study such proposals.

“Government has asked people to send their suggestions at [email protected] or member secretary, GOM, Room 803, A-Wing, Delhi Secretariat till November 7 on the issues on which the GoM was appointed,” said an official.

After receiving suggestions, the GoM will examine and incorporate them, if required, in its final report, the official added.

Sisodia today held an interaction with the students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Pandara Park, on women and child safety as the meet kicked off a two-week-long consultation process across the city which Delhi government is pursuing with different stakeholders.

According to government, the girls, from classes 8 to 12, spoke of their “discomfort” while using public transport, saying they had encountered lewd behaviour or come across drug addicts.

“Almost every girl had a story of being followed to their tuition classes or being troubled by motorcycle riders passing inappropriate statements and even facing trouble near their homes and at local markets,” the official said, adding that Delhi government has set up the GoM to find solutions to check rapes and heinous crimes against children.

The key questions being asked of the public are: Should those found guilty of heinous crimes against children be given minimum punishment of life imprisonment or death penalty and, should the age of criminal responsibility for heinous crimes like rape and murder be reduced from 18 years to 15 years?

Opinion is being also sought on how accountability of the team should be fixed in rape cases where investigation is delayed.

It is being also asked whether Delhi government should set up special police stations for crimes against women — especially for those cases where women do not get a satisfactory response at local police stations — and what further steps can be taken to reduce crimes against women and children.