Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim met leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday, seeking the passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill which will allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases.
“We have been assured that the bill will be passed tomorrow and we believe that. Now, it is not the right time to talk about him (the juvenile convict of the gangrape case) as he is a free man and there is no law to hold him back. Our fight is not only for us but for all women and girls,” the victim’s father Badri Singh Pandey told reporters after meeting the Congress leader at the latter’s residence.
The bill is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha at 2pm on Tuesday, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien tweeted.
With demands for passage of the juvenile justice bill -- that seeks to treat juveniles between 16 to 18 years as adults for committing heinous crimes such as rape – intensifying both inside and outside Parliament, the Rajya Sabha on Monday decided to take up the legislation for discussion on Tuesday.
However, Congress had earlier in the day termed this move as “brazen mischief” by the government, alleging it was to “defame the opposition” and divert attention from the DDCA issue.
“Let them not do this mischief. This is a total brazen mischief on the part of the government... This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA,” Azad said, adding that the Congress will support the Juvenile Justice Bill in the Upper House.
Before meeting Azad, the gangrape victim’s parents participated in a candle light march at Jantar Mantar along with hundreds of youths and activists. Amid protests, the juvenile convict in the case was sent to an NGO in Delhi on Sunday.
The victim’s mother Asha Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict on Sunday, she and her husband will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for the rest of the convicts who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.