New Delhi: Acknowledging that the Delhi gang-rape incident forced the government to change laws, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said "more needs to be done" to deal with crimes against women but cautioned against knee-jerk reaction which could drown the voice of sanity.
"At a time when the demand for judicial reforms and change in the legal processes has acquired a new urgency, we must ensure that the voice of sanity and logic is not suborned to the momentary impulses of the day," he said here addressing the Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of States.
"Fundamental and time tested principles of law and natural justice must not be compromised to satiate the shrill rhetoric that often defines our political discourse and sometimes succeeds in drowning appeals to logic and justice," he said.
Referring to the Delhi gangrape incident, Singh underscored the need for "urgent introspection" of the laws and the justice delivery system. "The national outrage at the recent horrific tragedy of gang-rape in Delhi compels an urgent introspection about our laws and justice delivery system but we must not allow ourselves to be overcome by a sense of despair at some of the demonstrated inadequacies of our legal system," he said.
Singh said the government had moved with expedition to respond to the felt sensitivities of the people in the aftermath of the "gruesome tragedy" and brought about significant amendments in the criminal law to effectively deal with heinous offences against women.
"But, notwithstanding the steps that have already been taken, more needs to be done as far as offences against women are concerned. I am happy that one of the issues on the agenda of your conference is sensitization of the Judiciary on gender issues," Singh said. He thanked the judiciary for establishing special courts to fast-track trial of offences against women.


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