A Commission of Inquiry headed by a former Delhi High court judge to
go into the gang-rape incident was set up today by the Centre which
also ordered a probe into allegations of police interference in
recording the victim's statement that has snowballed into a major row.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
took the decision to set up the one-person Commission headed by
Justice(retd) Usha Mehra to identify lapses and fix responsibility in
the gang-rape of 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in South Delhi on
night of December 16.
The Commission, which will also suggest measures to make Delhi and NCR
safer for women, will submit within three months its report to be tabled
in Parliament along with action taken by the government.
Announcing the decision to set up the Commission at a news conference
after the meeting, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said it was a "matter
of shame" that the incident happened in Delhi and the Central government
has special responsibility.
At the meeting, several ministers voiced their anguish at the horrific
crime and said the government should walk the extra mile to ensure
recovery of the victim and instil a sense of safety among women.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde briefed the meeting on the incident and steps being taken to defuse the situation.
On allegations by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that Delhi Police
officers had interfered in the process of recording of statement of the
rape victim, Chidambaram said the Home Minister told the Cabinet that an
internal probe by a senior officer has been ordered into it.
As the row with the Delhi government escalated, Delhi Police
Commissioner Neeraj Kumar wrote to the Home Ministry rebutting charges
that police had interfered when a magistrate was recording the statement
of the victim.
Stepping up its pressure on the Police Commissioner, Delhi Chief
Secretary P K Tripathi said after the state Cabinet meeting that Kumar
has no authority to comment on functioning of the SDM who complained of
police interference while recording the statement.
The condition of the rape victim deteriorated last night as her pulse rate reduced considerably but it recovered soon.
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