New Delhi, August 26; Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Monday assured the Lok Sabha that the Maharashtra government was in the process of appointing a special public prosecutor and setting up a fast track court to expedite trial in the August 22 Mumbai photojournalist gang rape case. He promised that there would be expeditious trail in the case.
Making a suo motu statement in the House on the incident, he pointed that as per the recently amended legislation life imprisonment could be awarded for perpetrators of such sexual offences.
Referring to the members plea for awarding stringent punishment including death sentence to such criminals, the minister said whether it was Jharkhand incident (where a woman constable was gangraped recently) or godman Asaram Bapu (against whom a minor has lodged a complaint of sexual assault) or other such incidents, the appropriate State governments would take action. The investigations into them were at preliminary stages. “The public order and the police are subjects exclusively dealt with by the States”, he said condemning the Mumbai incident.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, condemning the Mumbai rape incident, said: “You hang one or two of these beasts fast … and these incidents will stop”. Earlier, she wanted to know whether any time-frame had been set for prosecuting those accused in such crimes, while pointing out that the accused in the December 16, 2012, gangrape in Delhi had not yet been convicted.
While Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) demanded death penalty to all such culprits, JD(U) floor leader Sharad Yadav condemned the incident and demanded action against Asaram Bapu.
CPI parliamentary party leader Gurudas Dasgupta referred to the Jharkhand (rape) incident and the case filed against Asaram Bapur and shouted “Hang Asaram”. He said such incidents “brings us to shame and it brings shame to the Government’s agency for not taking care of such things. Then, what is the law and how is it being administered?”