MHA split on naming rape law after victim

With Justice J S Verma committee working on amendments to the law dealing with sexual offenders, the Home Ministry is divided over naming the revised Bill after the Delhi gangrape victim. MHA officials said the IPC and the Criminal Procedure Code do not have a provision for naming any law after an individual.

"No law is named after any person in India. Neither the IPC nor the CrPC provides for that. One has to see the case in national perspective. The issue has wide repercussion while registering offences. This girl has been a catalyst to changes in the anti-rape law but naming is not an option," said a senior MHA official.

Another top MHA official, however, said there is no proposal to name the law after the girl, but they can always examine the option.

"A bill dealing with sexual crime is in Parliament. Any additional suggestions, including naming it after the girl, can be done on the recommendations of the Verma committee," said another official.

The Justice Verma Committee reviewing criminal law is likely to submit its recommendations within 30 days. MHA officials said that the government also has an option to bring an ordinance to enhance punishment for rape till Parliament approves an amendment Bill in this regard.

However, any such move may come only after the government receives the report of the Justice Verma Committee.

Meanwhile, the MHA inquiry into the controversy over allegations and counter-allegations by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar on recording the gangrape victim's statement before her death has not been completed yet. "We expect an early closure of the probe. But no time line can be put to the process," added the official.

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