STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Ordinance omitted many recommendations of panel

President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday signed an ordinance against sexual violence, which allowed for death penalty in the rarest of rare cases. But, there was strident criticism from women’s groups, who had earlier made pleas to the President not to give his assent to the ordinance.

Published: 04th February 2013 09:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2013 09:13 AM   |  A+A-

President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday signed an ordinance against sexual violence, which allowed for death penalty in the rarest of rare cases. But, there was strident criticism from women’s groups, who had earlier made pleas to the President not to give his assent to the ordinance.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance-2013 proposes enhanced punishment for crimes against women, including stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures through words and inappropriate touch and brings into its ambit ‘marital rape’. However, it did not incorporate many suggestion of the Justice Verma Committee, especially the one to remove sexual offences by armed forces personnel from the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, so that no special sanction is needed to act against the accused in such cases.

“All we can do is that when Parliament is not in session, we can promulgate an ordinance. It does not mean widespread consultations cannot take place when the actual bill is brought in Parliament,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said. The government has indicated that there could be changes in the draft legislation, based on consultations with political parties and civil society groups.

The BJP had welcomed the ordinance stating that the party was “in support of strict laws”. “In Parliament, we will elaborate our views regarding this,” party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The CPM had, however, slammed the ordinance on Saturday, saying it was “against democratic norms” to promulgate an ordinance when the Parliament session was about to start. “The ordinance rejects the Verma Committee recommendations on issues such as making rape a gender-specific crime in the law, on increasing the punishment to public servants guilty of dereliction of duty, on increasing the punishment and also the guaranteed compensation for victims of acid attacks. It is highly selective about other recommendations,” the CPM politburo said on Saturday. This criticism was also echoed by women’s activists, who expressed profound disappointment.

The activists alleged that the Centre was trying to score political points by bringing the ordinance and was not serious about overall reformation of the existing laws. “It is a trick to sideline the Justice Verma Committee report,” activist and lawyer Vrinda Grover said. She said the Justice Verma Committee targeted the impunity of family, policemen, army officers and bureaucrats, but the government went soft on that.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp