The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, examining the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012, is likely to consult Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari seeking his view on whether the legislation was still alive after an Ordinance to deal with crimes against women was issued on Sunday.
The panel which comes under the administrative jurisdiction of the Rajya Sabha Chairman had invited suggestions from the public, women’s organisations and civil societies to review and amend the existing laws related to sexual offences after the Bill was referred to it in December 2012. The Bill, amending Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedures (CrPC) and the Evidence Act, was expected to be tabled in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament. BJP leader and Chairman of the Standing Committee Venkaiah Naidu had earlier questioned the timing of ordinance saying that the standing committee was expected to finalise its report by February 17 and it had already held four sittings to discuss the amendments. “Yet, the government decided to go ahead and promulgate an ordinance. Why the hurry?”
However during the panel’s meeting on Monday, it is learnt that, Naidu told the panel members that they can still go ahead with the amendments in the Bill and submit the report to Parliament.
The Ordinance issued by the government picked 11 clauses already mentioned in the Bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 4, 2012. It is learnt that some members of the panel expressed surprise over the govt’s haste in passing an ordinance just days ahead of the Parliament session.