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Opposition steps up heat for tougher laws on crimes against women

Monday, 31 December 2012 - 7:17pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
Opposition parties stepped up pressure for tougher laws on crime against women but the Government made it made it clear that the demand for convening a special session of Parliament for this purpose can be taken up only after the Justice Verma Committee gives its report.

Opposition parties today stepped up pressure for tougher laws on crime against women but the Government made it made it clear that the demand for convening a special session of Parliament for this purpose can be taken up only after the Justice Verma Committee gives its report.

Even as protesters continued demanding stringent punishment to the accused in the gangrape of the 23-year-old girl, Delhi government announced financial aid of Rs 15 lakh for the next of the kin of the victim and offered a job to a family member of the girl, who died two days ago.

The decisions were taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Delhi Police has finalised around 1000-page charge sheet against the accused in the case and is likely to place it before the trial court on January 3.

A day after the cremation of the rape victim, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said she had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately call for a special Parliament session to examine the existing laws regarding rape as there is no scope of giving death penalty in such cases.

"We feel that if a murder takes place after kidnap and rape, then death penalty should be the only punishment. But my demand of special session was rejected by Home Minister. Then we demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the security of women but that was also rejected," she said.

Swaraj, who was addressing a condolence meeting organised by Delhi BJP here to pay tribute to the rape victim who died in a Singapore hospital on Saturday, also demanded that such cases should be moved only to fast track courts and within six months they should be decided.

On its part, Government said here that a special session will make sense after it receives the report of the three-member committee, headed by Justice J S Verma, former Chief Justice of India.

"We have appointed the Justice Verma Committee to recommend to the government what changes should be made in the law. Therefore, a special session or a session of Parliament makes sense only when the report is received by the government...So let us first get the report and then we can examine when the session of Parliament should be," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.


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