New Delhi: In an unusual act, women MPs from Opposition parties stormed into the well of Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and forced a brief adjournment demanding action over December 16 gangrape convict being allowed to give an outrageous interview from inside Tihar Jail here.
Led by Jaya Bachchan (SP), all women members from opposition benches present in the House, trooped into the Well unsatisfied over government’s response to the action taken over how the convict, Mukesh, was allowed to be interviewed inside the prison and make outlandish statements. Soon, their male colleagues also joined, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.
Later, Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement in the House and said that the permission conditions were violated by the documentary maker.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday on the issue of telecast of the Nirbhaya documentary, Singh said that permission had been granted for social purposes and the documentary was not to be used for commercial reasons and in the public arena.
Singh added Government has obtained a restraining order on broadcasting of the controversial interview and has sought an explanation on how permission was given to telecast it. He further assured the House that no such permissions will be given in the future.
Wednesday’s disruption in Rajya Sabha came a day after the Delhi Police had registered an FIR in connection with the controversial interview. Although nobody has been named in the FIR, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi maintained that the “main actor” is the person who has made these assertions and urged the media not to broadcast any assertion, which transgresses the domain of law.
“This was a ghastly crime. One has to take into consideration that reporting of a crime does not transgress the domain of law and if that happens then the law will have to take its own course,” he told reporters.
Centre said it would act promptly and firmly against those officials and others responsible for giving permission to the BBC and a British filmmaker to go ahead with a controversial interview, and to subsequently allow its broadcast.
Meanwhile, reacting to Singh’s statement in the House, MP Anu Agha said, “The Nirbhaya documentary exposes the mindset of many. It’s not just the man in the prison, represents the view of many men in India. Let’s not pretend all is well.”
MP Javed Akhtar said, “It is good that the documentary was made. Now we will get to know how many people think like the rapist. If any one finds it objectionable, they should change their mindset.
In the interview conducted by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin and the BBC, Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus in which the 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped by six men on December 16, 2012, said women who went out at night had only themselves to blame if they attracted the attention of gangs of male molesters.
“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” he had said. Singh also said that had the girl and her friend not tried to fight back, the gang would not have inflicted the savage beating, which led to her death later.
The FIR was registered under IPC sections 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) 505(1)(b) (With intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and section 66A of the IT Act (Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service) at the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police.
Asked against whom the FIR has been registered, Bassi said, “We have registered an FIR on the basis of media reports and we will investigate and whosoever would will be found guilty we will take action against them.”
Any assertion where the late victim is being maligned or where threat is being issued to women in general transgress the domain of law. We are going to move our court concerned for a restraint order, he added.
Udwin had claimed that she took permission from the then Director General of Tihar jail Vimla Mehra to interview Mukesh in prison for the BBC.
Asked about this claims, Bassi said, “I am not aware of any permission. Even if it was given, it was given to remain in the domain of law. If any act transgresses the domain of law and particularly IPC, I am duty bound to take action and we have registered a case.”