THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): You have completed. You have given a very good suggestion. You have made a new point. Kindly co-operate.
DR. BHARATKUMAR RAUT: Sir, I want to make another point. This Bill is for victims of rape and for taking action against rapists. But what happens to those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order. They have been given the dandi in their haath because they are supposed to prevent such cases. Now if the police cannot prevent such a thing, then, everything else is post mortem, post facto.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Okay, you conclude.
DR. BHARATKUMAR RAUT: A woman who is raped is raped. It is another thing that the accused should be punished. But it is the responsibility of the police to prevent such things. For that, the police force has to be effective. Our Home Minister is a former police officer. I would suggest to him to bring in such a provision by which the police is held responsible...
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Thank you, Dr. Raut. ..(Interruptions).. I am now calling the next speaker.
DR. BHARATKUMAR RAUT: ... that they have some sense of responsibility and their wardi has some respect.
DR. NAJMA A. HEPTULLA: Sir, my party has ten minutes and there are two speakers from my party. So, I will take my time.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Kindly come to the point directly.
DR. NAJMA A. HEPTULLA (MADHYA PRADESH): I am coming to the point, Sir. I am sorry that the Government has to bring this Bill in such a hurry, when Members, both men and women Members, of Rajya Sabha wanted to bring some important points to the notice of the Government. That is why Rajya Sabha is important too in participating in the legislation. I want only one commitment from the Minister. He has brought this Bill in a hurry because the President’s Ordinance would, otherwise, lapse. The Minister should make a commitment in the House that after the Session resumes, we are going to have a full-fledged discussion, and whatever amendments and suggestions we are going to make, he will be liable to accept them because we have not discussed them at all.
Sir, I feel that the recommendation of the Standing Committee of Home Affairs has not been taken into consideration fully. The legislation is quite on this issue. The Minister has to give that explanation. The other thing which I would like to mention here is that such a serious legislation, which has been brought after an uproar in the whole country when the gang rape of a girl took place in Delhi, -- an Ordinance was brought in and the Bill, to replace it, has been brought in a hurry – you should not look at this Bill in isolation. The whole problems of women and the society have to be taken in totality. Without bringing any change in the Juvenile Justice Act, this Bill has no meaning. It cannot be implemented. Every time we give the examples of America, Europe and other countries, and I would like to state what the laws of these countries say. The Juvenile Justice Law in the U.S. says, “In some cases, usually, when the crime is particularly heinous, a juvenile may be tried as an adult.” The same is the case in the U.K. or, for that matter, in China and in many other countries. I would like the Government to bring back the Juvenile Justice Act. If a person, who is under 18 years, commits a heinous crime, he should not be confined along with a person who has done petty crimes like stealing bread or pick pocketing or things like that. These are two different crimes and they should be taken differently. Sir, I wanted to speak very seriously on the issue. I am a Zoologist; I am a scientist. We believe in evolution, the Darwin’s law of evolution. How do you think that the evolution of our mind has totally stopped, that the evolution of our thinking has stopped? Evolution is a continuous process. Today evolution is connected with environment. With the access to knowledge and the access to information which the children of today have, they get much more matured than what we were. I am sure, Sir, you were a very innocent person when you were 16 years or 18 years old. But, today, children are not like that. So, I would want the Minister to come back to the House. There is no time now, and I can see that you are getting impatient, so is the whole House. I would only like to mention to the Home Minister one thing. I am not going to repeat what other Members have already mentioned as to how serious it is. (Continued by SSS/2L)
DR. NAJMA A. HEPTULLA (CONTD.): But the main thing is that you have to come to the House after the recess with a Juvenile Justice Act, rethinking on a juvenile justice and then we will re-think on this legislation. There are so many discrepancies here. In this Bill, there are contradictions. Sir, you have written, “In a marriage, if the girl is 15 years...”, it means you are accepting that there are child marriages in our country? What kind of a contradiction do you bring in your own written Bill? That is the sad part of it. Sir, I know you are very kind.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Thank you. Thank you, very kind of you. Thank you very much.
DR. NAJMA A. HEPTULLA: Sir, I want that you come back to the House. You discuss in peace. You discuss the entire Bill once again and if we feel, and you also feel, there is a need to relocate it, please relocate it. It is not necessary that if you pass a Bill it becomes sacrosanct; it cannot be reopened again before implementing it. We have six months to amend the rule. ...(Interruptions)....
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Mr. Parasaran, would you like to say something?
DR. NAJMA A. HEPTULLA: So, you have to come back to the House again.
SHRI K. PARASARAN (NOMINATED): Sir, I would like to say that I support the Bill and I do not want to take the precious time of this House. Thank you.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Thank you very much for your cooperation. Mr. Dua is also following you. Now, Shri Pyarimohan Mohapatra. ...(Interruptions)....
SHRI PYARIMOHAN MOHAPATRA (ODISHA): Sir, I will just take two minutes and not more than that.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: Sir, you have permitted others.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Kindly cooperate. You know the situation.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: I know the situation. We have been cooperating. You are not giving us the least consideration. What does it mean?
SHRI PYARIMOHAN MOHAPATRA: I will come straight to the point. In Section 166B, please increase the punishment for refusal of treatment by medical officers from three years to seven years, not one year. One year won’t do because a Scheduled Caste girl who had witnessed the gang rape of her friend, another Scheduled Caste girl, and volunteered to stand as witness was, therefore, gang raped by the rapists again, who were politically very powerful. She was refused treatment by the primary health centre, refused treatment by the district medical hospital. Finally, after a lot of howling by NGOs, she was taken to the medical college hospital. She died after a month, subsequently. Now, Rs. 10 lakhs was declared as compensation. Nobody visited her in the hospital. Nobody important, from the Government, visited her in the hospital. This happened in Odisha. So, please make this stringent. What business have doctors not to treat? Just because the rapists belong to powerful political sections. This won’t do. Acid attack creates more trauma, it is a worse situation than rape. This is my view because the person lives, suffers throughout life and the suffering is visible. So, please increase the penalty and see that the entire cost of rehabilitation of the victim is exacted as fine.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Thank you very much. You made your point. Kindly cooperate.
SHRI PYARIMOHAN MOHAPATRA: Sir, just one point more. I draw the attention of the Minister to explanation 2 under 375, “Consent means an unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication...” will be treated as consent. It gives a tremendous amount of advantage to the man and man can prove that consent was given. Please drop this or suitably amend this. Thank you.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Now, Shrimati Irani.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: Sir, my party has cooperated.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Kindly cooperate.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: We need our representation. You are not accommodating our Members for certain reasons. Kindly permit another Member.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Please sit down. We will consider it. Shrimati Irani.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: We are cooperating to the maximum extent and you are giving the least consideration, Sir.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): We know the situation. We want to pass it.
श्रीमती स्मृति जुबिन ईरानी (गुजरात):सर, मैं जानती हूं कि समय का कोई जेंडर नहीं होता, इसलिए शायद समय महिला की व्यथा को नहीं समझता और सांसदों को अपनी मर्यादा में बांधने का काम करता है। Respected Vice-Chairman, Sir, in bullet points I would like to attract the attention of the hon. Home Minister to the fact that Section 354A(1)(v) which was there in the Ordinance has been removed.
(Contd. By NBR/1M)
SHRIMATI SMRITI ZUBIN IRANI (CONTD.): I would, through you, Sir, draw the attention of the hon. Home Minister to the fact that the definition of 'sexual harassment' in the Ordinance says, "sexual harassment includes any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature." It has been removed from the Bill. Why is it so? I seek an explanation from the hon. Minister on this.
Now, I come to the issue relating to stalking. Section 354D (1) (i) says that a woman has to give a clear indication of disinterest. I think any indication of disinterest should suffice. Also, it speaks about spying on a woman only if it results in fear of violence or serious alarm or causes distress. Will it be considered as stalking? My request to the hon. Home Minister, through you, is mere an act of spying on a woman should be considered as a crime.
Sir, one of my colleagues from the NCP drew the attention of the hon. Home Minister to the issue of sexual exploitation of minors who are trafficked. Under Section 376 of the IPC, rape is punishable with an imprisonment for seven years and can be extended to life. However, in the case of sexual exploitation or trafficking minors, according to the proposed Bill, the imprisonment is prescribed only for less than five years and can be extended to seven years. Why has this exception been made in the case of trafficking minors is something I seek the hon. Home Minister's explanation? And, whoever is engaged/employed in trafficking children were punished under the Ordinance. However, an exception has been made in this Bill. I would request, through you, Sir, trafficking of children and those who are knowingly employing trafficking of children should also be punished, so that such children will have the protection of law.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Okay. Thank you.
SHRIMATI SMRITI ZUBIN IRANI: Sir, I beg your indulgence for only one minute.
Section 376(2) says, "Whoever is in a position of control or dominance over a woman..." I would request, through you, Sir, the hon. Home Minister to define 'dominance' and 'control' by taking economic, social and political aspects into consideration.
Sir, under punishment for repeat rape offenders, all those convicted under Section 376C have not been included under this section. So, could you please consider inclusion of such offenders who are convicted under 376C also under the ambit of punishment for repeat offenders?
Sir, Shivanand Tiwariji has spoken about obscene exhibition and objectification of women. My request, through you, Sir, is, under Section 292 of the IPC, such exhibition is only punished either by imposing a fine of Rs. 2,000 or a punishment for two years. My request is to please make the punishment mandatory.
Sir, my last sentence here is this. I would like to quote Mr. Derek O'Brien who started his speech today by saying that during the Shimla Agreement the Telex Code अगर अग्रीमन्ट अच्छी तरह से हुआ, सार्थक हुआ, तो बेटा हुआ, ऐसी घोषणा करनी चाहिए थी। मैं आज ओब्राईन साहब से कहना चाहती हूं कि इस सदन में भले ही rushed एक चर्चा हुई, लेकिन आज की सार्थक चर्चा के बाद देश में कम से कम परिवार गर्व से कह सकेंगे कि आज इस सदन में जो भी चर्चा इस बिल के संदर्भ में हुई ultimately बेटी हुई, बेटी हुई और बेटी हुई।
श्री राम कृपाल यादव (बिहार) : उपसभाध्यक्ष महोदय, आपने मुझे एक महत्वपूर्ण विधेयक पर बोलने की अनुमति दी, इसके लिए मैं आपका आभार व्यक्त करना चाहता हूं। महोदय, मैं आपसे निवेदन करूंगा कि ...(व्यवधान)...
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY: Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, please allow me to lay my speech...(Interruptions)...Sir, he has allowed Vandana and other Members.
SHRIMATI VANDANA CHAVAN: He did not allow. He only took a note of it.
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY: Okay. Let him allow me to lay my speech also. Otherwise, Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, allow me to speak. Sir, you have not given me the time. At least, allow me to lay my speech.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Vasanthi, please, you have made your speech. Please co-operate.
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY: No, Sir. You said you will give your ruling. You tell me what you are going to decide on that. This is not fair.
(FOLLOWED BY KS "2N") KS-ASC/2N/2.55
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Can you cooperate with the Chair? ...(Interruptions)...
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: We have been cooperating with the Chair. That is why we asked for permission to lay it on the Table. Kindly permit her now to read it. ...(Interruptions)...
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY:We have been cooperating, Sir. I am asking you. You had said you would give the ruling. What is your ruling now? I am seeking protection from the Chair, Sir.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Kindly obey the Chair. Please sit down. We will take a decision. That is what I have been telling you repeatedly. Kindly sit down. ...(Interruptions)...
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: Laying it on the Table has not been accepted by the Chairman. So, please allow her to speak. Despite her illness, she will speak. ...(Interruptions)...
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY: She had been permitted to lay her speech on the Table. Either allow me to lay it or allow me to read it, Sir. ...(Interruptions)...
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Please cooperate. ...(Interruptions)...
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: That is what we are doing. We are asking you to allow her to speak. That is all.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): You please leave it to the Chair.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: I have spoken to the Chairman.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Please sit down. You have stated your grievance. Please cooperate now.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: But that has been rejected. Kindly permit her now to speak. She will speak despite her illness.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Please cooperate. And please sit down.
SHRI TIRUCHI SIVA: We have cooperated to the maximum extent and now you are telling us that we have yet to cooperate. Why don't you consider it?
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Can you understand what I am saying? Kindly understand what I am saying. We will give a chance to you. Kindly sit down now.
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY: Thank you, Sir.
श्री राम कृपाल यादव: सर, आज हम यहां एक महत्वपूर्ण बिल पर चर्चा कर रहे हैं। सदन इस विषय पर चिंतित है और पूरा देश भी चिंतित है। दिल्ली गैंग रेप के बाद पूरा देश उसके खिलाफ खड़ा हो गया। पूरे देश के पैमाने पर समाज के हर कौने से यह बात आई कि इस तरह के घटनाक्रम को रोकने के लिए कोई ठोस उपाय करना चाहिए। आज माननीय गृह मंत्री जी इसके लिए जो कानून लाए हैं, मैं उसका स्वागत करता हूं।
महोदय, आज महिलाओं के प्रति समाज की विचारधारा में बहुत ज्यादा गिरावट आ गई है। महिलाओं के प्रति जो हमारा नज़रिया रहा है, जो देश की संस्कृति और सभ्यता रही है, वह यह है कि हम महिलाओं को माता मानते हैं, उसको भगवान का रूप मानते हैं। आज महिलाओं के साथ जिस तरह की ज्यादती हो रही है, उसे देखकर बहुत ही शर्म महसूस होती है। आज महिलाओं के साथ गैंग रेप की घटनाएं बहुत बढ़ गई हैं। पूरे देश में इस तरह की घटनाएं हों रही हैं, लेकिन मैं आपको अपने प्रदेश के बारे में बताना चाहूंगा कि वहां सिर्फ कुछ ही वर्षों में आठ हजार रेप और गैंग रेप हुए हैं। सर, आज हमारा समाज कहां जा रहा है? हम कानून तो बना लेंगे, लेकिन जब तक समाज की सोच में बदलाव नहीं आएगा, तब तक कानून बनाने से कोई लाभ नहीं होगा। जो हमारे यहां बेटी और बाप का संबंध होता है, भाई और बहन का संबंध होता है, उनके बारे में भी आज खबरें आती हैं कि वहां भी रेप की घटनाएं हो रही हैं। आज हमारा समाज कहां जा रहा है, हम कहां जा रहे हैं? आज हमारी सभ्यता और संस्कृति किस तरफ जा रही है? जब तक समाज में बदलाव और सोच में परिवर्तन नहीं आएगा तब तक कानून बनाकर रेप, बलात्कार जैसे अत्याचार के शोषण नहीं रुक सकते हैं। हमें समाज में निश्चित तौर पर हर तबके और हर वर्ग की सोच में बदलाव लाना पड़ेगा, तभी हमारा कानून असरदार होगा। कानून तो पहले से भी है, लेकिन कानून होने से क्या रेप, गैंग रेप नहीं हो रहे हैं? आज हम इसमें कुछ परिवर्तन कर रहे हैं। हो सकता है कि इसके बावजूद भी जिस कानून के माध्यम से समाज में इस घृणित काम को रोकना चाहते हैं, वह शायद न रुके।
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Okay, thank you. Now, Shrimati Stanley.
श्री राम कृपाल यादव: मैं एक-दो मिनट में ही अपनी बात समाप्त कर दूंगा।
महोदय, मैं माननीय मंत्री जी से यह निवेदन करना चाहता हूं कि यह बात ठीक है कि आप कानून बना रहे हैं और माननीय सदस्यों ने कई महत्वपूर्ण सवालों पर भी डिस्कश्न किया है, केस त्वरित गति से निष्पादित हों, इसके लिए आपने कौन सा उपाय सोचा है? फास्ट ट्रैक कोर्ट बने, क्या इसके लिए विचार किया है या नहीं किया है? बहुत से ऐसे केसेज़ हैं, जो पिछले दस साल, बीस साल और पच्चीस सालों से पेंडिंग हैं, क्या उनके निष्पादन के लिए आपने कोई उपाय सोचा है? क्या आपने इस बिल में उनके लिए कोई प्रावधान करने का काम किया है?
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E. M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Okay. Please sit down now. ...(Interruptions)... Nothing will go on record. Kindly cooperate. I have given you enough time. Vasanthi Stanley now.
श्री राम कृपाल यादव: * (Ends)
(FOLLOWED BY KGG/2O)
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M.SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Please sit down as nothing is going on record. ...(Interruptions)... I am sorry to say that nothing is going on record, please sit down. Now, Smt. Vasanthi Stanley. Please confine your speech to two minutes.
* Not recorded.
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY (TAMIL NADU): Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, thank you. I am going to put my points very short.
Under gender neutrality in defining a rape victim, Sir, I recommend that the third gender, the transgender, should also be included. With very hard fighting the transgenders have won their civil liberties. I request that under ‘rape’, please bring the gender neutrality to include the third gender, the transgender.
On the watering down of voyeurism and stalking, Sir, I would like to say that it is extremely important to stress what is being targeted is not only innocent gestures, but also unwanted overtures by men that end up in harassing women. In this, I would like to remind
you about Sarika Shah’s case in 1998 which happened in Tamil Nadu. Our leader, very stringently brought about the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Eve Teasing Act. So, only by retaining this stalking and voyeurism as offences, backed by stringent punishment, will we be able to prevent a repeat of such cases.
On the issue of marital rape, Sir, in 2011, UNIFEM, the U.N. wing working towards women empowerment, in its report titled ‘Facts and Figures on Violence against Women’, stated that 37 per cent of Indian women faced physical and sexual intimate partner violence in their lives. Among the 104 countries who have already have made marital rape as an act to be prosecuted, only four countries have not done and India is one among them. I wish that one amendment to section 375 should be brought which reads, “Consent will not be presumed in the event of an existing marital relationship between the complainant and the accused.”
I do have my reservations about the age of consent also, Sir. Acid attack should be taken very seriously. The recent two cases of Vinodini and Vidya in Tamil Nadu have to be taken very seriously.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (DR. E.M.SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN): Please cooperate and conclude, Madam. Now, Shri Venkaiah Naidu.
SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (KARNATAKA): Sir, we are discussing a very important piece of legislation and I have been the Chairman of the Standing Committee which has deeply gone through this subject.
Secondly, the Leader of the Opposition, who has got a legal expertise, also wants to add something. I request both the parties and others also to cooperate. Please spare another half-an-hour or forty-five minutes. Afterwards, we can conclude passage of the Bill. Then, we can go on to other issues. If they do not want to allow it, then I would leave it; I can’t help it. My suggestion is, this is an important Bill, the entire country is watching what the Parliament is going to do. We have seen in the other House yesterday; when the Bill was approved, there was a criticism saying that certain aspects were not discussed and that the number of Members present in the House also was less. It is only my request; if they do not agree, I will sit down, I have no problem also.
Sir, for one month, we have devoted time in going through each and every word of the Bill. Still, there are certain points which need to be discussed. I am not going to add anything now. I only would like to request hon. Home Minister, through you, Sir, to kindly go through the recommendations, not through the provisions of the Bill alone. As is said by many hon. Members, mere passage of the Bill is not going to solve the problem. Of course, it is a good step in the right direction. We are here to support the Bill. It is a progressive Bill. This is the first point I wanted to suggest.
Secondly, coupled with that, what is required also is the political will of all political parties. There is a need for a change of mindset across the country. That can happen only through a social mobilisation.
The third point I would like to suggest is, as Shri Shivanand Tiwari said, the cinema and television have a greater role to play in creating awareness as also in avoiding vulgarity, obscenity and violence in films.