Congress anti-rape draft bill proposes 30 years jail, chemical castration

NEW DELHI, December 30 (agencies): Congress in a draft bill for a tougher law to check crimes against women has proposed imprisonment of up to 30 years which could also include chemical castration in rare cases.

The final draft of the Congress' bill, which is to be submitted to Justice JS Verma-led committee set up by the Centre in the wake of the horrific gang rape of the 23-year-old girl, who died yesterday, has not been readied yet, sources said today.

Some of the provisions of this tougher law includes imprisonment up to 30 years for rape convicts and setting up of fast track-courts to decide the cases within 3 months were discussed in the presence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on December 23 when she met a group of people protesting against the gang-rape incident a week earlier.

There is also a suggestion to re-define the Juvenile Act and lower their age.

One of the accused in the rape case is a juvenile and aged a few months less than 18 years. A view has been expressed by a section that only those below 15 years should be described as juvenile.

Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, which has framed and helped frame many landmark legislations like RTI is likely to be involved in the whole exercise.

Sources said the women and child development ministry, headed by Krishna Tirath, held a marathon meeting with stakeholders on this issue on Friday during which several suggestions have been made.

The ministry will prepare a summary of suggestions received and will submit it to the Justice Verma-headed three-member committee set up to review existing laws and make recommendations for changes in them to effectively check crimes against women.

"There is no government draft till now. The summary that we submit to JS Verma committee will be the first written document on which the new law will be based," sources told.

At the meeting with the protestors at her 10 Janpath residence, Gandhi had favoured fast track courts for trying rape cases with a 90-day cap while party spokesperson Renuka Chowhdary made a strong pitch for chemical castration to rape convicts. Chowdhary such a punishment is already in vogue in various countries and that it had a deterrent effect, sources said.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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