Chidambaram says a decision on special Parliament session only after panel submits report
Amid growing demand for stringent rape laws, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has asked all political parties to send their suggestions to the three-member committee, headed by former Chief Justice J.S. Verma, formed on December 23 to suggest amendments to criminal laws to sternly deal with sexual assault cases.
On the other hand, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters here on Monday that the government would look into the Opposition demand for a special session of Parliament to discuss need for harsh laws to deal with cases related to crimes against women, particularly sexual assault, only after getting the committee submitted a report.
Sources in the Home Ministry said Mr. Shinde was writing to all political parties, asking them to send their suggestions to the committee that would help in deciding need for stricter laws to deal with rape cases.
Reacting to the massive protests in the capital after the gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, he had said the government favoured harsher laws to deal with the rarest of the rare rape cases. At present, the maximum punishment for a rape accused is life imprisonment. Notably, Mr. Shinde, who is also the Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha, had rejected the demand of the Opposition parties for a special session of Parliament.
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