Pressure mounts on govt for passage of Juvenile Bill

Pressure mounts on govt for passage of Juvenile Bill
Pressure today mounted on the Government for securing the passage in the Rajya Sabha of the bill that seeks to lower the age defining juvenile from 18 to 16 years tomorrow itself.

On a day the Supreme Court rejected a plea against the release of juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Government said the amendments to Juvenile Justice Act that will allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases will come up before Rajya Sabha tomorrow.

Congress saw in this move "brazen mischief" by  the government, alleging it was to "defame the opposition" and divert attention from DDCA issue.

"Let them not do this mischief. This is a total brazen mischief on the part of the government.... This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said after Congress disrupted proceedings in both the Houses demanding resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for alleged graft in Delhi and District Cricket Association.

The Juvenile Justice Amendment Act has already been passed in the Lok Sabha. Later, after a meeting with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the victim's father Badri Singh Pandey said the Congress leader gave the assurance that the bill will come in the Upper House tomorrow.

Asked about the release of the convict, he said, "Now, it is not the right time to talk about him as he is a free man and there is no law to hold him back. Our fight is not only for us but for all the women and girls."

The victim's mother Asha Devi while stating that her fight against the system would continue demanded that the new Juvenile law be passed by Rajy Sabha tomorrow itself, a stand which was also echoed by Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women(DCW) Swati Maliwal.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said "the government is ready and very keen to pass this Juvenile Bill", as a demand for expeditious passage was made in the Rajya Sabha. Parliament's Winter session concludes on Wednesday.

Derek O'Brien (TMC) said he has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business in the Rajya Sabha and taking up the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014.

He said the House had only three days to go before end of the Winter Session and government's listed agenda includes commercial courts, arbitration and real estate bill.

The government has not even listed the juvenile bill for discussion and passing today, he said during Zero Hour.

"It is incumbent upon the House to listen to what is going on outside," he said, asking the House to rise above politics. "It is not a perfect bill but let us list it and pass the bill," O'Brien said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the bill was listed on December 8, 10 and 11. "We have listed it for tomorrow," he said, adding if all agree the bill can be taken up for discussion today itself.

Outside Parliament, Prasad targeted Congress, saying "the Bill has been thrice listed in the past for consideration and passage in Rajya Sabha; however, the House has not been able to run".

O'Brien asked parties to rise above politics and allow the passage of the Bill. "The nation wants this Bill passed. In the next two days, parties should rise above politics and pass this Bill. I appeal to the Congress party for it," he said.

Union Minister Uma Bharti said she will appeal to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to allow passage of the Bill in the interest of the girls in the country.

"There is an obvious anger in the country against the release of the juvenile accused in the Nirbhaya case. The Bill was listed three times, but the Congress is not allowing the session to work and justice is not being delivered to Nirbhaya," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

SP leader Ramgopal Yadav blamed "politics" for the delay in the passage of the Bill. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat explained that even if the amendments to the Act were passed, the new provisions would not apply retrospectively to the juvenile convict in the gangrape case.

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