Delhi gangrape: Need effective law to protect women, says Chidambaram

P Chidambaram

The government has not rejected any of the recommendations forwarded by the Justice JS Verma panel in the ordinance on sexual violence against women, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.

The Finance Minister said the ordinance on sexual violence against women was promulgated to meet the 'universal demand' for a law which would be based on the broadest consensus available at the moment.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the ordinance will act as a deterrent to criminals and maintained that though all recommendations of the Verma Committee have not been incorporated in it, no suggestion of the panel has been rejected.

He said a Bill on the issue would come up for discussion in Parliament and a legislation passed after reaching the "broadest possible consensus".

"The government hopes stringent provisions in the ordinance will have a deterrent effect on potential criminals till a new law is enacted by Parliament," Chidambaram told reporters here.

President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the ordinance yesterday.

"The Bill will reflect the broadest possible consensus on imperatives and urgent need to have an effective law to protect women and to punish the guilty," Chidambaram said.

The Finance Minister, who heads the Group of Ministers on Media, rejected the view that the government had acted in a hurry on the ordinance and said the measure would derer criminals and that there was a need for promulgating it.

"We are dealing with a grave issue. I appeal to everyone to deal with it with utmost seriousness and sensitivity. I appeal to everyone to respect the legislative process enshrined in the Constitution," Chidambaram said.

Asked about demands for amending the Juvenile Justice Act to bring down the age limit of the offender, the minister said a consensus would have to be arrived at on it and that would require a separate bill.

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