‘Must we cut penalty for rape of mi­nors?’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Di­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: Union min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari on Thurs­day said he was sur­prised why driv­ers were up in arms against the amended pro­vi­sions in the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act, which aims to pro­tect their lives and make roads safer. He said those op­pos­ing the re­vised law must try to un­der­stand the pain of fam­i­lies who have lost their mem­bers to road ac­ci­dents.

“I don’t un­der­stand why they are op­pos­ing the law. Only those who vi­o­late rules are fac­ing prob­lem,” he said. Gad­kari’s com­ments came amid re­ports of protests by trans­porters and driv­ers, par­tic­u­larly in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion, against the sharp rise in penal­ties for traf­fic of­fences.

Cit­ing re­cent cases where truck­ers were caught flout­ing rules, Gad­kari asked, “Who will be held re­spon­si­ble and what would be the cost of lives lost in ac­ci­dents? Ev­ery year 1.5 lakh peo­ple are dy­ing in road ac­ci­dents and at least 2.5 lakh are be­com­ing hand­i­capped. We have stiff penal­ties for peo­ple in­volved in rape of mi­nor; can any­one de­mand re­duc­ing the penal­ties for such an of­fence? High penal­ties work as a de­ter­rent for vi­o­la­tors”.

Full re­port on www.toi.in

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