Cen­tre seeks all-party opin­ion

Shinde seeks sug­ges­tions as na­tion de­mands noose for rapists

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - METRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

NEW DELHI: Union home min­is­ter Sushilku­mar Shinde has de­cided to ap­proach all po­lit­i­cal par­ties to re­quest them for send­ing sug­ges­tions on chang­ing rape laws to the Jus­tice JS Verma com­mit­tee.

The step comes even as the Congress's women's wing on Mon­day joined the clam­our for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment for rapists.

The party has al­ready start- ed in­ter­nal dis­cus­sions to firm up its sug­ges­tions for the Verma panel set up to re­view the ex­ist­ing le­gal frame­work.

In a seven point mem­o­ran­dum to Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi, the All In­dia Mahila Congress said se­vere pun­ish­ment, ex­em­plary in na­ture, should be given to cul­prits in rape cases.

The women's wing also asked the party that se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers, and not just the con­stab­u­lary, should be held ac­count­able for the re­cent gan­grape of the 23-year-old stu­dent.

“The pun­ish­ment should be in ac­cor­dance with the heinous­ness of the crime com­mit­ted,” it said and called for speedy and time-bound dis­posal of all cases of ha­rass­ment against women.

Gandhi — who has de­cided to shun New Year cel­e­bra­tions in the wake of the ghastly in­ci­dent — also di­rected se­nior leader Mohsina Kid­wai to elicit views of party's women MPs and func­tionar­ies on the is­sue.

Kid­wai held her first meet­ing with Mahila Congress of­fice bear­ers on Mon­day which was at­tended by se­nior lead­ers in­clud­ing Gir­ija Vyas, Renuka Chaud­hary, San­tosh Chaud­hary and Anita Verma. The meet­ing ex­pressed con­cern over the”dis­turb­ing low rate of con­vic­tion in rape cases and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing value sys­tem” in the so­ci­ety.

The out­come of th­ese meet­ings will be submitted to the Verma panel. “I feel the Congress pres­i­dent must have given some sug­ges­tions to the government,” said party gen­eral sec­re­tary Ja­nar­dan Dwivedi.

The party has, how­ever, dis­tanced it­self from pro­pos­als of chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion and 30-year im­pris­on­ment for rapists, point­ing th­ese could be views of in­di­vid­u­als. It will strive for a con­sen­sus on the is­sue.

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