Around 26 representatives of Bangalore-based women’s rights groups, who were staging a protest in front of the Raj Bhavan against the Centre’s Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, were taken into custody and later released on Tuesday.
Addressing a joint press conference, the activists said that the Ordinance passed on February 3 had not only ignored some of the salient features of the Justice Verma Committee (JVC) but also displayed a “complete disregard for the due process of lawmaking” by proposing it as an emergency measure.
Madhu Bhushan of Vimochana described the Ordinance as “eyewash”. Sushma Verma of the Samanata Mahila Vedike said that the Ordinance had failed to include several aspects of the JVC report. It did not recognise sexual violence within marital relationships, caste-based sexual assault and had failed to introduce provisions to regulate sexual violence perpetuated by the armed forces, she said. Activists have demanded that parliamentary process, including the setting up of a standing committee, and debating of the Bill in both Houses of Parliament be upheld, to ensure a democratic and transparent process of lawmaking.