New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Asking people to view the Dec 16 gang-rape as a crime against women in general and not just any individual, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir Monday said there have been "knee jerk" reactions but the anger can be "channelized positively".
"On that day what happened is not exactly something new. But it caught the imagination of the people. But I will still caution that what happened on Dec 16 was not against a particular person, but crime against women in general," Chief Justice Kabir said at a conference on domestic violence here.
He said certain groups permeated the protests which was a "retrograde step" and there were "knee jerk" reactions to the incident.
Chief Justice Kabir also revealed that his nephew was also one of the protestors beaten up by police at India Gate.
He said that in order to address issues like gang-rape, six fast-track courts have been set up in the capital. "I wrote all over the country to ensure that these courts are set up in other places also."
Chief Justice Kabir said it was important that apart from the "letter of the law, spirit of the law" is also considered.
"Without sensitivity, there is no point in being a judge," he said.
Earlier, addressing the conference, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said the government has made a provision of around Rs.100 crore per annum for the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA).
Tirath also said the Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill which has been passed by the Lok Sabha will come up for the discussion in the Rajya Sabha in the coming budget session of parliament starting next month.
She said her ministry will be assisting state governments in funding for two protection officers and two service providers at the district level and for office equipment and one protection officer exclusively at sub-divisional level in 100 "vulnerable" districts.
Former Supreme Court judge Ruma Pal, who was also present on the occasion, said that despite the increasing recourse to the PWDVA, there is still an absence of accountability of those charged with its implementation. She insisted on a more stringent and systematic monitoring.