NEW DELHI: The Juvenile Justice Bill will be discussed in Rajya Sabha tomorrow and the parents of Jyoti Singh — the 23-year-old medical student who died after the horrific gangrape in Delhi in 2012 – will be present in during the discussion.
Under pressure after massive public protests following the release of the youngest convict in the Delhi gang-rape case, political parties have agreed to discuss the Bill, which seeks to amend the law to allow trying those over 16 years of age and accused of heinous crimes, as adults.
Jyoti’s parents, who had been leading the protests, today met Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who promised them that his party will support the bill, which will be placed in the House at 2 pm.
Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress has demanded that public sentiment be heeded and the bill be put up for discussion.
Both parties have earlier favoured sending the bill to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.
“Netas only remember women when they want votes,” said Jyoti’s mother Asha Devi. The proposed law, she said, could not change the outcome of her own case, but she felt it was the least she could do for other women.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court rejected a petition to stop the release of the convict, who was a few months short of 18 when he and five others attacked Jyoti. “In absence of any law we can’t take away the rights of a person. There has to be legislative sanction,” the court said.
Thousands have joined Jyoti’s parents in claiming that his punishment — three years in a correctional home — was grossly inadequate. The protesters, who were detained by the police on Sunday as they tried to hold a demonstration at India Gate, held one at Jantar Mantar today.
As protests intensified, political parties were forced to review their stand on the Juvenile Justice Bill.
Even if Parliament amends the law, it cannot be applied retrospectively to the man who brutally raped Jyoti Singh. She died in a Singapore hospital 13 days later.