Parliament today unitedly voiced shock and outrage over the gang-rape in Delhi, prompting the government to promise steps to ensure safety of women besides fast-tracking the trial of Sunday's incident and action if lapses are found on part of the police.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha saw members of all parties raising serious concern over repeated incidents of rape in the national capital with demands for death penalty for perpetrators of such crimes.
During the impromptu discussion, women members in both Houses were in the forefront in expressing anger over the incident and concern over safety of the fair sex in Delhi, with
cinestar-turned-MP Jaya Bachchan even breaking down in the Rajya Sabha.
Replying to the debate, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he agreed with the members' views and promised to take necessary steps to ensure safety of women in Delhi, including increased police patrolling. Law and order of Delhi is direct responsibility of Union Home Ministry.
Shinde said a special task force headed by the Home Secretary will be constituted to look into suggestions made by members in this regard.
On Sunday's incident when a 23-year girl was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus, Shinde said the case was "detected without loss of time" and four of the six accused have been arrested.
"It is proposed to have this case tried by a fast-track court, with a request for day-to-day hearing, so that the trial does not linger," the Home Minister said.
"If there are any lapses, strict action will be taken against the police officers concerned," he said.
"I will inquire into this case. I shall take action," he assured the Rajya Sabha when members questioned him as to what action had been taken by the Home Ministry so far against Delhi Police personnel in this particular case.
He said he will take a detailed review with Delhi Police officers and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to make the capital safer for women.
Giving details of steps already taken by police for making Delhi a safer place, the Home Minister said in identical statements in both Houses that all roads are covered by PCR vans at night and specific routes used by women working in BPOs and call centres have been identified for increased police patrolling.
Shinde said Delhi Police has issued orders to BPOs and other organisations to ensure that their women staff working in evening shifts are dropped at their doorstep. Besides, three helpline services for women would be launched.
He also mentioned that a Criminal Law Amendment Bill for dealing with sexual offences has already been introduced in Lok Sabha which seeks to enhance punishment for such crimes.
He gave details of the incident that shocked the nation.
After the minister's reply in the Rajya Sabha, BJP member Ravi Shankar Prasad asked what PCR vans were doing when the bus was moving around for hours. He was joined by party colleague Venkaiah
Naidu, who sought reasons for delay in collecting details about the incident.
Jaya Bachchan (SP) told the minister, "Instead of saying I will try (to take action against culprits), you must say 'I will'. Why cannot the government be strong?"
Responding to them, Shinde said, "It is true that the bus was moving for hours. It is a matter of investigation. I will conduct inquiry, I shall take action. Until investigation is completed, I do not want to make statement here."
Javed Akhtar (Nom) said discussion on this alone will not suffice and suggested police reforms. He favoured strictest action, but not capital punishment, against culprits.
Earlier, in the Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar led the House in expressing outrage over the "spine-chilling" incident, saying it was shameful for the entire society and asked the government to take strong steps immediately.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj made a strong pitch for capital punishment for such crimes, a demand which did not find favour with Girija Vyas (Cong), who said such a penalty would lead to killing of women after rape.
Swaraj, however, got support from her party colleague Najma Heptulla as well as UPA ally DMK member Vasanthy Stanley and V Maitreyan
(AIADMK) in the Rajya Sabha, who said "these culprits should be hanged till death".
While I wouldn't wish this on anyone, if some politician's daughter got gangraped I'm sure the law would be toughened up pronto.
Outlook India : Outrage in Parliament Over Delhi Gangrape
New Delhi | Dec 18, 2012
The growing monstrosity against women in the national capital is a serious indictment against union Home Ministry’s failure in ensuring safety of women.
The beat constables/PCR vans permit private chartered buses to be parked on public roads in Delhi on pecuniary considerations.There is no mechanism in place to check the credentials of drivers and attendants of chartered buses. They are more interested in collecting ‘bribes’ than performing their mandated jobs. The criminal minds have no fear of the Police due to secret nexus between them.
The SHOs,ACPs and DCPs, more reactive than pro-active, are saddled with file work leaving little or no time to address women’s safety concerns. The public-police interface is non-existent.This callous attitude emboldens criminal minds and enhances confidence deficit between the Police and public.
The police-population ratio in Delhi is among the lowest in the world. A substantial number of Delhi policemen are deployed on VIPs security duties and for guarding the traffic routes. The women then have no choice but to fend for themselves. The public is tired of sermons and promises from politicians.It is interested in fast-tracking criminal justice delivery system in such heinous crimes including “castration “of the criminal minds. The officers of Delhi police must also be punished quickly for dereliction of duties.
A K Saxena ( A retired civil servant)
"Outrage in Parliament Over Delhi Gangrape" they say
"Kiss my donkey" I say.
I wrote long ago regarding corruption that it is not the quantum of punishment that deters the criminal, but surety of it.
If I do this, if police catches me, if my father/mother doesn't help me, if my lawyer can not win the arguments (and may be more), if the judge is convinced, then I can go to jail for may be 3-4 years.
But hey, Janta hai mein kaun hu? Saare jugad fit hain mere.
There are lots of "if" need to cross.
I doubt if that will deter a criminal mind.
Single "if" is the only deterrence; thats it.
If I do this, I am in for long time.
Crime will still take place, but at least justice will be done.
I am not very much in favour of death penalty, including rapists.
But I am against this Indian judicial system, where punishment is given concurrent fashion.
Life imprisonment means 14 years in jail. How is that possible?
- Who is suppose to make these changes, including police and judiciary reforms?
- Parliament (and assemblies).
- Did they do that?
- Nope (and I see no difference between Congress and BJP in this. But expecting this from UPA is asking for moon).
You said parliament is outraged?
My donkey, I say.
I say, Police reform will not solve anything, but nothing will be solved without it.
PS: Plz do not go asking Kapil Sibbal about it. He might say there is Zero-rape on the land of Delhi. Moving bus is not land after all.
Anger alone doesn't suffice. The law and order situation has to be improved to act deterrent. Unfortunately the dirty game of vote bank politics has made criminals a prized commodity for all kinds of politicians. There is no stigma attached to crime. City or its crowd can really do not much, especially when social inter-action has been reduced to the minimum. Even neighbours don't recognize each other. What bonds social connectedness? It used to be an unwritten code of social conduct, which has disappeared fast. If a genuine complaint can't be registered with the police or justice can't be secured promptly without cost or the court orders either remain unimplemented or nullified by the legislature, the citizen with his burnt fingers will not risk another chivalry. Instead of protecting the identity of the witness or the good samaritan, it is revealed to the criminal who makes life miserable to the aam aadmi acting witness to a crime. There is no guarantee for "witness protection", what to talk of the System of Witness Protection, Relocation & Rehabilitation, which is prevalent in advanced countries.