Stories, satires and anecdotes came in handy for the Lok Sabha members who cautioned the government and the police against misuse of the anti-rape law, which the House passed on Tuesday.
The Yadav triumvirate was in the forefront, from questioning the necessity of The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 brought in the wake of the infamous Delhi gang rape to warning of its possible abuse.
“Who amongst us have not followed girls,” JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav said, evoking peels of laughter, to make his point that provisions making stalking and staring a crime could be misused.
Yadav went on to say that women might not get jobs after the law is passed. “Men could be scared to give jobs to women,” he said citing the misuse of anti-dowry law.
SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was up-front in his opposition. “There is no need for this law. You are giving all rights to police. We (men) would be wrongly implicated,” Mulayam said in an intervention. “Had I spoken the truth, there would have been problem.”
Nonetheless, Mulayam went onto say that there was no inadequacy in the existing law to deal with rape convicts. Mulayam even suggested abolishing of co-education institutes to point that the law could put boys in trouble.
Intending a pun Lalu Prasad (RJD) said the nation needed to do something about the naked sculptures at Khajuraho and Konark. “Should we cover them,” he asked. Though sharing the concern of their male counterparts, the women MPs said a strict law is required to protect women. Supriya Sule (NCP) said the MPs should not mistrust the intent of women by doubting abuse of the legislation.