Finance Minister P Chidambaram is addressing the media in New Delhi on the anti-rape ordinance promulgated by the government, and says they hope the stringent provisions will be a deterrent.
Along with Chidambaram, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari is also addressing the media.
Here are the highlights of Chidambaram's speech:
- On some other aspects we will bring about changes, nothing from the Justice Verma report has been rejected.
- It is the obligation upon the government to introduce the bill, replace the ordinance and get it replaced before six week period.
- If we took the route of a bill, the changes in law will take place only after the passage of the bill.
- The ordinance will amend criminal law instantly; it is the starting point of a legislative process.
- Govt hopes that stringent provisions of Ordinance will deter potential criminals during now and time when new law is passed by Parliament.
- Marital rape a difficult issue in which we need more consultations.
- Amendments intended to protect dignity of victim, restrain police excesses & facilitate better evidence recording.
- We have done nothing to alter the precedent that death is a punishment in the rarest of rare cases.
- Today death is a punishment for many crimes. The Supreme Court said that death penalty is given in the rarest of rare cases. In two cases the govt recommends death- one when the victim dies due to injury caused by the rape or leaves the victim in a vegetative state. Two- if the accused commits the same sexual assault again.
- Whether age under the Juvenile Justice Act needs to be reduced is a separate question that we will come to separately. At the moment, we are trying to make the law harsher, more stringent based on the broadest consensus.
- Some clauses like AFSPA need more discussions.
- Govt welcomes suggestions from public to replace ordinance with a bill in Parliament.
- There will be debate, consultation with political parties, which will give ample opportunities to reflect broadest perspective.
- It is not correct to say that Justice Verma Committee report has not been accepted.
- Some recommendations of Justice Verma not incorporated because of divergence of opinion.