Will not recommend death sentence to President: Sushilkumar Shinde on Delhi gangrape

Sushilkumar Shinde

VIP security in Delhi will be trimmed very soon following a directive from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said.

"The Prime Minister and (the Congress president) Soniaji told me about trimming VIP security 2-3 days ago and I have asked the Home Secretary to look into it," he said on a show.

Shinde said the committee in the Home Ministry which looks into the issue of VIP security is presently studying the proposal, according to a press release issued by the channel.

"I can only promise that VIP security will be trimmed very soon (Jaldi Kam ho jayega)," he said.

Shinde said out of the 86,000 Delhi Police personnel, nearly 7,000 policemen are deployed for VIP security.

"Out of this, 2,500 policemen are deployed for security of Z-Plus category VIPs and the rest for security of high courts and vital installations," he said.

The Home Minister said all rape cases cannot be considered as rarest of rare cases but the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi on December 16 could be considered as rarest of rare case.

Asked whether he would recommend to the President for commuting death sentences to rapists, Shinde said "So long as I am in this chair, I will never recommend such a thing to the President."

On the past cases of death sentences being commuted by former President Pratibha Patil, Shinde said, "I don't know about those cases. At least it was not during my tenure. The only death sentence that I recommended (Ajmal Kasab) is known to all..."

Asked about the possibility of framing a tougher anti-rape law, he said Justice Verma committee was looking into it and "nobody should doubt our sincerity on that score".

The Home Minister said he has been trying his best to set up fast-track courts and he had met Chief Justice of India along with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in this regard.

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