The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, introduced on December 4, 2012,
sought to redefine the offence of rape and amend the penal laws in line with the
recommendations of the Law Commission and the National Commission for Women. Following
the Delhi gang-rape incident, a three member committee headed by former Chief
Justice Verma was constitueted to suggest amendments to the criminal laws to
ensure speedier justice and enhanced punishments in cases of extreme sexual
assault. After the submission of the Verma Committee Report in a record
time, the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2013 was notified on February 3,
2013. The previous Bill and Ordinance were withdrawn and the Criminal
Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was introduced today, March 19, 2013. Some
of the comments during the debate on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill
introduced in Lok Sabha by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today:
Lalu Prasad Yadav, RJD:
The Bill is not against the average Road Romeo, it is against the
‘habitual ghumne wala'. The Sun Temple in Konark is full of
sculptures of naked women and men. Khajuraho is full of such images. What will
you do about them? Cover them up all? What do you do when saints in the
country are like this (Asaram Bapu). This saint said that the girl should have
begged with the rapists and called them brothers to escape the assault!"
Sumitra Mahajan, BJP
“It is okay to showcase a child’s talents. But look at these reality
shows? What kind of love songs are these children sing on TV? What kind of
love songs ten-year-old girls and 13-year-old boys are dancing to? The kind of
expressions that these people have on their faces is appalling. These dirty
spray ads, condom ads, they put such negative thoughts in people’s minds.
This should be looked into. Also, people these days get divorced over
insignificant issues. Marital rape shouldn’t be made into a criminal
offence. It will destroy Indian families. Things like these should be sorted
out within the family or by counselling. There is no need for a law. You know
the Indian family, it has a binding effect on the society."
Sharad Yadav, JD
Shindeji jo amendment laayen hain, main uskaa samarthan kartaa guunmai
maantaa huun kii piichhaa karne par bahut baRii sajaa hai. is par jaruur
vichaar karnaa chaahiye. ye taakne, jhaankne kaa bhii merii samajh meiN nahii
aataa kii ye stalking kis ne banaa diyaa? Shindeji aapne isme kuchh faaltuu
sawaal Daal diye.
I support the amendment moved by Mr Shinde. The flaws in the bill -- I believe
there is quite a big punishment for following [women], which should definitely
be debated. This staring and monitoring [voyeurism] also I do not understand.
I do not understand who has made this into stalking...
Yes, there are many good things in the past, but there are also some things
which have not merely gone to people's blood but also their bones. The young
man of Congress party, Sandeep Dikshit, was saying that he is deeply hurt when
a woman is stripped and paraded. But do you remember another assembly -- not
one like this, but one where the king too was present, many kings were
present, I do not know whether or not it is true -- where they behaved the way
they did with Draupadi? I have read the literature of the world with great
seriousness, but never have I come across a description such as this where in
the sanctum sanctorum of the government, a mother was stripped. Sitaji was
subjected to a fire-test. The injustice meted out to Sitaji is still there in
people's bones. Just because a husband had a slight suspicion. All this is why
the only thing we hear about a woman in India today is about her safety in
public and sexual exploitation...
Inequality is all there is for every mother, sister, daughter, woman in India.
People are fighting, a way is emerging, but the primary reason for this
inequality, these atrocities and oppression on women, is that our mothers are
caught behind hundreds of thousands of prisons. Caste-system is another thing
that keeps them captive -- caste is not only among the Hindus, but also among
the Muslims, Christians and Sikhs... Do you think merely making this law would
break these shackles?...
Indian woman is enslaved by the caste system. All of our great men -- from
Mahatama Gandhi to Jayaprakash Narayan, from Lohia to Basavanna to Kabir --
everyone has talked against the caste system and inequality but you have never
organised a debate on the subject in Parliament. But the biggest illness --
and if you watch TV, it is not being shown -- is not being shown is crime
against women, which the media is showing...
The man of this country is, in a way, suffering from lust, starved of sex.
This is not from today. Sex and lust are big issues for him...A child born in
this country does not sing the songs of this country anymore —my children do
not listen to the songs of this country. If I listen to songs, they do not pay
any attention and say, "Dad, who is shouting and why are you listening to
this?" The mindset has changed. The culture you have brought from
elsewhere, the mind has become free according to it...
On the question of equality among men and women — there is now an
imaginary fantasy... So I request that you should organise a debate on these
issues some day...
Aap cinema me dekhiye. Sheela ki jawaani. Arre bhai, aapka buRaapaa hai, phir bhii use thiik se dekhnaa, aapkaa man bhii hil jaayega. Arre bhai, ye to natural hai. ham aadmii hain. koii jhnadu balm wala hai, Munni badnaam huii hai, vah kaisa kar rahii hai? yeh sarkar kyaa kar rahii hai? is tarah ke logon men utejana baRaane vaale ads din bhar aa rahe hain. tamasha aa rahaa hai jab se ye Delhi me huaa hai. yeh to hazaaro saalon se ho rahaa hai
You see in the movies: [The song] Sheela ki Jawaani [Sheela's youth]. Granted you are old, but see it properly, even your mind would be shaken. This is but natural. We are men. There is one with Jhandu balm, Munni badnaam huii
[Munni has become notorious], what is going on? What is the government doing? Such ads which excite people are coming every day. And there is a tamaashaa going on since it [the gang rape] happened in Delhi. This has been going on for thousands of years...
mai college me paRaa huuN. aap kahte hain piichhaa nahii karnaa. ham me se aesaa kaun hai jisne piichha nahii kiyaa? mahilaa se jab baat karnii paRtii hai, pahle vah lift nahii detii, usse baat karne kii koshish karnii paRtii ha, prem se bataanaa paRtaa hai
I have studied in college. You say not to follow [girls]. Who among us has not
followed [girls]? When we have to talk to women, we [men] have to approach them [women]. They [women] do not first give 'lift' One has to try to talk to them politely...
While it is all right to take immediate measures, do think of the long term.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP
The truth is that I did not speak on purpose on this issue, but it is such an issue where I should have spoken. If I had spoken, I would have proved that the law is unnecessary, it is not required. Will this [rapes, sexual violence etc] stop because of the law? Under the earlier law, there were three hangings: in West Bengal,
Rajasthan... you are handing over our necks to the police. The police will decide. No one will ask you. A police constable and police station in charge and police stations will have the right. What provisions have you kept against its misuse? There is no sign of it. Are only the boys responsible, is that what you wish us to say? The boys and girls who are studying together would have to be stopped. This will cause a lot of difficulty.
A. Sampath, CPI(M) MP
There have been various interpretations regarding the age of consent. In Japan it is 13, in Sri Lanka it is 16, in Israel it is 16, in China it is 14, in Syria it is 15, in Italy it is 14 - Italians have gone and we are waiting for them to come back - in Venezuela it is 16. We are discussing whether the age of consent should be 16 or 18. My humble submission is that straight from the college campuses do not send kids behind the bars. Just because a girl and a boy have a relationship, just because they are friends, do not treat them as criminals. Instead of graduating from college, will a girl or boy graduate from behind the bars? No, that will create a very cruel and pitiable situation.
Supriya Sule, NCP
While you snigger and laugh over Sheela Ki Jawaani, I want to remind
you that the whole nation is watching us hoping this law will make their
daughters safe in the country. Once while I was on a flight, a man walked up
to me and said you have made the Delhi gangrape issue into such a joke. Only
when something like this happens to one of your politicians’ daughters, will
you understand our fears. This is how deeply the country grudges us."
Gurudas Dasgupta, CPI:
"Delhi is the capital of criminals, not only the
politicians. The woman has become a marketable commodity. We have to safeguard
the women economically and socially. Not by Mr Shinde passing a bill in the
Harsimrat Kaur Badal,
"Why did the government lower the age for consensual sex? So that old
men from abroad can come from other countries, pay poor families some money
and have sex with their young daughter? Are they legitimizing such
practices? There will be more teenage pregnancies, more cases of HIV, more
cases of cervical cancer. Does the government want all that to happen to our
What will so many laws do if the mindset of our country is not changed? Right
now someone spoke about clothes… so what will young girls do? Wear saris and
not skirts and frocks?
Priya Dutt, Cong
“Most of the children who are abused are victimised by
people known to them, by members of their family. The law has to be made in a
way children are protected against such abuse”
Trinamool Congress MP:
"When there are two pieces of fish for lunch, so many
times it is the boy who is given the bigger piece of fish. Why? Why will not
the girl get the bigger piece?"
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