Not death, not even chemical castration, Congress favours 30-year jail term for rapists

Sonia Manmohan

Congress on Saturday submitted its suggestions on stringent laws for crimes against women to Justice J S Verma Committee even as it disfavoured chemical castration of rapists.

Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said the suggestions have been given to the panel set up in the wake of the gangrape incident in Delhi that led to outrage across the country.

While details of the suggestions given to the committee were not immediately known, the party has been favouring imprisonment up to 30 years for rapists and setting up of fast-track courts as also redefining the juvenile act by reducing the age limit.

Leaders like Renuka Chaudhary had sought chemical castration of rapists but the party has made it clear that no such suggestion has been made by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi had recently held a meeting with top leaders as also experts for consultations over the issue. The suggestions were given a day after the party top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi, held deliberations.

The Verma committee was set up on December 23 with a mandate to review the present statute so as to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault. The committee has to submit its report in 30 days.

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