DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Saturday asked the Centre to consider his proposal to introduce solitary life imprisonment as maximum punishment for rape convicts, as the State government has refused to consider it.

In a statement here, he said though leaders of various political parties had favoured death sentence for rapists, he alone favoured solitary confinement for life as appropriate punishment.

“I wanted the State government and the Centre to take firm steps to implement my suggestion. Like many social activists and thinkers, I am not in favour of capital punishment,” he said.

Referring to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s proposal to detain rape suspects under the Goondas Act, he argued that the detention under that law was only for a year.

“There is no guarantee that they will not commit similar crimes after release,” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi also said the Goondas Act had been misused in the State against to settle scores with political opponents.

Mr. Karunanidhi claimed that in Tamil Nadu, the only action that was taken against sexual offences was filing a case for namesake in a police station.

“When a 13-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Tuticorin district, the government woke up to the incident only after the DMK released financial assistance to the family and party MP Kanimozhi called on the girl’s mother,” he said.

Demanding adequate relief to the families of rape victims, Mr Karunanidhi alleged that instead of taking such measures the government had announced a 13-point programme.

“These steps will only generate statements welcoming the plan, but will not ensure help for the victims and their families,” he said.

“The government should ensure that the 13-point action plan would not remain on paper and really prevent the crime and provide relief to the victims,” he added.

“Like many social activists and thinkers, I am not in favour of capital punishment”