Delhi gangrape: Need effective law to protect women, says Chidambaram

Feb 04 2013, 18:08 IST
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Finance Minister P Chidambaram Finance Minister P Chidambaram
SummaryMore discussions on rape ordinance ahead; govt keeps all Justice Verma suggestions.

can only be applied prospectively, the ordinance will not be applicable to the December 16 Delhi gangrape case but its provisions on procedural law will help in "quicker completion of the trial".

He maintained that the ordinance was needed as the matter relating to crime against women could "brook no delay" and only an ordinance could establish a law immediately while passage of a Bill would take time.

The ordinance has incorporated some provisions of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 which is with the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, the minister said. The Committee's recommendations will be included in the Bill on sexual violence against women when it comes up in Parliament.

Describing the ordinance as only a "starting point", Chidambaram said all sections, including political parties, should rise above partisan interests to support the issue.

He maintained that the government has been "completely faithful" to the Verma Committee recommendations and has come up with a "satisfactory" ordinance.

The minister emphasised on the need for more fast track courts, more judges and also sensitising of the police force, especially at the level of the constabulary.

'Rape with death' will attract death penalty

Any person who inflicts injury that causes death of a victim in a sexual assault or leaves her in a persistent vegetative state shall face punishment up to death under the ordinance promulgated to tighten anti-rape laws.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee, also enhances punishment for sexual assault by a man on his wife during separation and such a crime will lead up to seven years of imprisonment.

“Whoever commits an offence punishable under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 376 (rape) and in the course of such commission, inflicts an injury which causes the death of the person or causes the person to be in a persistent vegetative state, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean the remainder of that person's natural life, or with death,” the ordinance says.

Where a person is sexually assaulted by one or more persons constituting a group, each of those persons shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to life (imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life) and shall pay compensation to the victim.

The ordinance says

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