New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI): Chidambaram said there was an obligation on the government to introduce the Bill to replace the ordinance and get it passed before six weeks within reassembly of Parliament as required under Constitution.
He said substantive amendments have been made to the Indian Penal Code. While the recommendations of the Verma Committee on punishment have been accepted, death has been prescribed as the maximum punishment in case of rape followed by injury which causes death or leaves the victim in a persistent vegetative state.
Chidambaram said death has also been prescribed as the maximum punishment in the case of a second conviction for the offence of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault cases.
Besides, the ordinance contains provisions amending the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act.
“These amendments are intended to protect the dignity of the victim, restrain any police excesses and facilitate better recording of evidence. These provisions will ensure fair and speedy trial of such cases and more stringent punishment to the convicted persons,” he said.
The Finance Minister said there is broad convergence between the provisions taken from the pending Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill and the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee.
He said the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs on the 11 clauses taken from the pending Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012 would be considered by the government at a later stage.
The Finance Minister said the issue of reducing the age of juvenile would be dealt by the Home Ministry and the Women and Child Welfare Ministry in due course.
Chidambaram said the Bill will reflect the broadest possible consensus on imperatives and urgent need to have an effective law to protect women and to punish the guilty.
“We are dealing with a grave issue. I appeal to everyone to deal with it with utmost seriousness and sensitivity. I appeal to everyone to respect the legislative process enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.