There was outrage in both Houses of Parliament Monday over the Hyderabad rape and murder case with several members demanding fast-track courts, strict laws, castration and even public lynching of the perpetrators of such crimes even as the government said it was ready for a discussion to consider stringent amendments for expeditious punishment of the guilty.
In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said there is no room for any mercy or age considerations for heinous offenders. “There is no reply (of the minister/government) on this, there is no one solution… the reply is with all of us… only law is not the solution… even after punishment there is appeal, there is mercy. Can anybody think of mercy for such people? And why? Because some practice has been there for years together… We need to think about changes in the legal judicial system… why look at age when a person has done such a crime and say he is a juvenile… what has age got to do with such a heinous crime?… In my opinion we need to revisit the law,” Naidu said.
Samajwadi Party member Jaya Bachchan said, “I know it is a bit harsh but these kind of people should be brought out in public and lynched.” She also emphasised the need to fix responsibility of policemen in cases such as the ones in Hyderabad, Delhi or Kathua.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that this is not a problem of any one region or state and society has to stand up “at every level to end this disease”. “The guilty should be punished regardless of religion or any other considerations,” he said.
Naidu allowed all MPs who had submitted notices on the matter to speak briefly during Zero Hour, with the proviso that particular states or governments should not be singled out to avoid unnecessary protests. “This is an issue disturbing all, a total disgrace to humanity,” he said.
DMK MP P Wilson said the country should look at options like surgical or chemical castration for rape convicts.
BJD MP Amar Patnaik pointed out the lack of an “ecosystem” of adherence to the law as he had been caught driving without a licence just two days ago.
In the Lok Sabha, MPs across party lines expressed their outrage over the Hyderabad incident and similar crimes as soon as the House met in the morning.
Responding to a Zero Hour discussion, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “We are ready for discussions in the House so that stringent provisions in laws could be explored to give punishment to those involved in such ghastly incidents.”
The Defence Minister said he was falling short of words to condemn the Hyderabad incident. He said that such heinous crimes were reported even after strict laws were framed in the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gangrape.
Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishen Reddy informed the Lok Sabha that the government was ready to amend the IPC and CrPC to ensure swift justice in cases of heinous crimes. Reddy said the Centre was very serious on the issue and ready for suitable amendments. It had written to states and police forces over the issue, he said, adding various parties will be consulted. Reddy said the government had come out with 112, an all-in-one emergency helpline number, and has “zero tolerance” against crimes against women.
Speaker Om Birla said that “we in one voice” condemn such incidents.
When the House assembled in the morning, Congress MPs held posters demanding justice for the Hyderabad case victim as DMK and BSP members joined them. The Speaker assured them that the issue would be discussed later during Zero Hour and they could let Question Hour progress.
Opening the discussion during Zero Hour, Congress’s Nalgonda MP Uttam Kumar Reddy criticised the Telangana Home Minister for his remarks and slammed the police for delay in lodging the case. Reddy also blamed the sale of liquor along highways in Telangana for the incident and demanded that a fast-track court should conduct the trial and “hang” the accused.
T R Baalu of the DMK took up the issue of the sexual assault of a 12-year-old school girl in Coimbatore and urged the Centre to ensure time-bound action.
Calling the rape of the veterinarian a “heinous crime”, Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress said such incidents continued to take place even after the enactment of strict laws. He asked the Centre to immediately frame laws to make rape punishable by “only death sentence”.
BJP’s Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar was of the view that “we need to implement punishment on the spot”. “There was no need for holding seminars. How we need to respond is the debate of the day. How can we see that such incidents are checked,” he said.
BJD floor leader Pinaki Misra questioned the delay in executing the death sentence awarded to convicts in the Delhi gangrape case. He said laws and establishment of fast track courts will not make a difference till the time death sentence is not executed.
Nama Nageswar Rao of the TRS said the Telangana government had given the highest priority to cases of crimes against women and noted that accused in this case were arrested within six hours.