'Law not in favour of disclosing identity of rape victim'

Union Law minister Ashwani Kumar today said that the law as it currently stands is not in favour of disclosing the identity of the rape victim.

"The law today supports the view that the identity of the rape victim should not be disclosed and there are good reasons for that.. Certain other views have been expressed. Maybe there is a point in what has been said. But the law as it currently stands is not in favour of disclosing the rape victim's identity," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

He was replying to a query on minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor's view that the Delhi rape victim's name should be revealed.

On imposing capital punishment for rapists, he said strong views have been expressed in informed circles both for and against it.

He said Justice J S Verma committee has been constituted to recommend changes in the laws, if necessary. The Union government was awaiting the recommendations, which is expected to be given by the end of this month or so.

"After these recommendations are given, the cabinet will deliberate and discuss these recommendations and take specific action as may be considered appropriate after a broad political consensus," Kumar said.

He said there is provision in existing law for life imprisonment for rape and capital punishment in the rarest of rare cases, for example if rape is followed by murder. "But what would constitute the rarest of rare cases will need to be left to the judiciary to be determined," he said.

The real challenge before law enforcers, courts and law makers is how to make implementation and enforcement of laws more effective. There are already very stringent provisions to deal with offenders of various crimes. But the final view will be taken after we receive the recommendations and deliberated afresh in the light of the recent incident.

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