RS passes anti-rape bill

Last Updated 21 March 2013, 19:13 IST

The anti-rape legislation, Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013, on Thursday was passed by the Rajya Sabha (RS) although several members pointed out many shortcomings.

CPI leader D Raja and CPM MP T N Seema proposed many amendments, but were rejected by the House.

Members expressed apprehension that the Bill might not be able to bring to book powerful people including politicians indulging in crimes against women. However, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde claimed that the Bill has the provision to take action against people “having dominance”.

Samajwadi Party (SP) member Jaya Bachchan raised the issue and said often people in high positions including ministers indulge in crimes against women.“A  minister’s son raped a girl in Mumbai. She came to me and said if I tell my parents they will disown me.

If I go to police they will not listen to me and I don’t want to go through the medical examination process.” She said after passage of the Bill, she would in a position to advise the victim.She also said despite her personal reservations, she is supporting the Bill only to abide by her party. CPM member T N Seema also said many such instances had been witnessed recently.“Many people in high positions escape even after raping minors. They bypass the legal system”, she said.

She demanded stringent punishment to upper-caste men who rape SC/ST women.
Satish Chandra Misra of the BSP demanded provision for suo motu action by the police in case of rape or other such crimes committed by influential people including ministers, MPs and former MPs.

He cited instances of such offences by public personalities. He gave example of a UP minister who allegedly passed “derogatory” remarks against a woman district magistrate. He cited another example of a similar incident by a Union minister in Kanpur.
He alleged that a case involving a former MP misbehaving with a woman in a train was summarily dismissed.

Many members including Venkiah Naidu and Najma Heptullah of the BJP complained that the Bill was being passed in a hurry and it should be improvised. JD-U leader Shivanand Tiwari wanted an end to the portrayal of women as objects in advertisements.

(Published 21 March 2013, 11:15 IST)

Follow us on