More needs to be done to prevent crimes against women: Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Mamohan Singh Sunday said reforms have been made in the laws pertaining to crimes against women but admitted that more needs to be done.

Speaking at a conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts in the national capital, the prime minister said there was a “national outrage” after the tragedy of the Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape, but “we must not allow ourselves to be overcome by a sense of despair”.

He said the government had acted fast to amend the laws pertaining to crimes against women.

“Notwithstanding the steps that have already been taken, a great deal more needs to be done as far as offences against women are concerned,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister also said that the demand for reforms in the judiciary has gained a “new urgency” and added that “fundamental principles of law and natural justice must not be compromised to satiate the shrill rhetoric of our political discourse”.

Among the proposals likely to be discussed at Sunday’s conference, organised by the law and justice ministry, are the demand for doubling the existing number of district and subordinate courts, filling vacancies in High Courts and lower courts, setting up of fast-track courts and improving the infrastructure required to expedite trials. There are over three crore pending cases in various courts in the country.

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