J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of India, who had chaired the panel on a tougher anti-rape law, has passed away. He died of multi-organ failure. Justice Verma, 80, is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Justice Verma, who also served as the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), was the 27th Chief Justice of India and served from 1997-1998. Most of the recommendations of the anti-rape panel were accepted by the government. The Verma panel had favoured comprehensive amendments to criminal laws seeking a minimum 20 years jail gangrape and life term for rape and murder but refrained from recommending a mandatory death penalty. Later, the government passed an anti-rape law in Parliament in the first half of the budget session this year.
As Chief Justice of India he also heard the Jain Hawala Case in which it was held that the notings in the diary containing the initials of some persons does not amount to a piece of evidence.