No Special Parliament Session for Strict Rape Laws: Govt
New Delhi | Jan 04, 2013
Government will not convene a special Parliament session to make tougher laws for crime against women, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said today, turning down the demand being made in the wake of the Delhi gangrape outrage.

Shinde said there was a suggestion from Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to convene a special session of Parliament to amend the law.

"But there is no need to call a special session of Parliament. I have already written to all political parties to send their opinion to Justice Verma Committee," Shinde, who is Leader of the Lok Sabha, told reporters while replying a question.

Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath too ruled out convening a special session of Parliament to discuss stricter punishment for sexual offences as the issue would be taken up after receipt of the Justice Verma Committee report.

"Until we get Justice Verma Committee report (we cannot hold a session). After that (the report comes) the Budget session starts," Nath told reporters here.

The Budget session usually starts around third week of February.

When asked whether the government will give priority to tightening rape laws, Nath said, "Of course".

The committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma was set up on December 23, 2012, with a mandate to review the present statute so as to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault. The committee has to submit its report in 30 days.

Opposition parties, including BJP and the Left, have been demanding a special session of Parliament to discuss the present rape laws and passing measures which could serve as a deterrent in commission of crimes against women.

The demand was made after a 23-year-old girl was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus here on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.