BJP has recommended including death penalty as punishment for those convicted of gangrape, abduction and rape, and custodial rape among other suggestions submitted by the party today to the Verma committee on making a strong anti-rape law.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari sent the suggestions to Justice (retd.) J S Justice Verma after some initial hiccups about presenting its views to the three-member panel.
While a section within the party was against sending the recommendations, other senior leaders felt since Congress has sent the suggestions and there is a strong sentiment against the Delhi gangrape case, BJP should not be seen as being aloof from the exercise for making a strong law.
BJP's recommendations include amending the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 to change the definition of juvenile to "a person who has not completed 16 years of age" from the present provision of 18 years. But the party was not clear on whether it wants this only for sexual crimes or other cases as well.
"A person convicted for a gangrape or a custodial rape or a rape committed after abduction or kidnapping must be punished upto death," the party said in its suggestions.
Even in cases where the victim was afflicted by a "life altering event" by virtue of a mental or physical injury or an attempt on her life, the accused must be punished with death, the party said. This recommendation has apparently been made in the light of the December 16 Delhi gangrape case.
In an effort to make the process of lodging a rape complaint easier for a victim, BJP has said the statement of the complainant should be lodged in the presence of a woman cop.