Rajya Sabha approves tighter law against rape

December 18th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha Thursday approved a series of amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), one of which tightens the law governing the trial of rape cases.”Henceforth, the trial of rape cases would be fast-tracked without any adjournments,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said while replying to a brief debate after the bill was introduced in the house.

“To the extent possible, the trial would be conducted before a woman judge,” the minister added.

This apart, the police examination of a victim would be conducted at either her residence or that of her parents or at any other place of her choice.

“The aim is to make the law more humane for victims and more stringent for the offenders,” Chidambaram pointed out.

The amendments also permit the conduct of trials through videoconferencing, thus obviating the necessity of daily transferring large numbers of prisoners from jail to the courts and back.

This is currently being undertaken on a trial basis in some courts across the country.

Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member S.S. Ahluwalia vociferously objected when Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmed introduced the bill instead of Chidambaram.

“I have nothing against him (Ahmed). Why is the home minister not in the house? He should be summoned,” Ahluwalia said.

Ahmed argued in vain that he had introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha and there were no objections to this.

Chidambaram walked in at this stage and offered to re-introduce the bill. This served to cool tempers.

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