New Delhi: The family of the 23-year-old physiotherapist who died after the brutal bus gangrape has said they will not object to naming the revised anti-rape law after her. The family in fact said it would be an honour. The girl, who hasn't been named to protect the family's privacy, died on December 29, after a two-week battle, first at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital and later at Singapore's Mount Elizebeth hospital.
The girl had sustained grievous injuries after six men brutally raped and assaulted her on December 16. On New Year Day, Minister of State for Human Resources Shashi Tharoor started the debate by suggesting that a tougher anti-rape law be named after her.
In a tweet, Tharoor said, "Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name&honour her as a real person w/own identity?" "Unless her parents object,she should be honoured&the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name,not just a symbol," he further said.
The statement drew mixed reaction from the political class, with the Congress remaining guarded in its response. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said, "Don't want to get into what he said but real tribute would be to come out with a strong anti-rape law."
Retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi supported Tharoor.
National Commission for Women chief Mamata Sharma, however, pointed that according to the guidelines, the names of sexual assault victims should not be revealed, calling it "improper to take the names of the victims".
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed the suggestions as against the norms set by the Supreme Court. BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Husain said that the party would be opposed to any such move.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Home Affairs sources on Wednesday said that there is no provision in the Indian Penal Code of naming a law after a person.
What the law says
Under the Indian Penal Code Section 228-A (Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences etc)
Sub Section (1)
Whoever prints or publishers the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C, or section 376D is alleged or found to have been committed (hereafter in this section referred to as the victim) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Sub Section (2): Nothing in sub-section (1) extends to any printing or publication of the name or any matter which may make known the identity of the victim if such printing or publication is:-
(a) By or under the order in writing of the officer-in-charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation into such offence acting in good faith for the purposes of such investigation; or
(b) By, or with authorization in writing of, the victim; or
(c) Where the victim is dead or minor or of unsound mind, by, or with the authorization in writing of, the next of kin of the victim:
Provided that no such authorization shall be given by the next of kin to anybody other than the chairman or the secretary, by whatever name called, of any recognized welfare institution or organization.
Explanation:- For the purpose of this section, "recognized welfare institution or organization" means a social welfare institution or organization recognized in this behalf by the Central or State Government.
Sub Section (3): Whoever prints or publishes any matter in relation to any proceeding before a court with respect to an offence referred to in sub-section (1) without the previous permission of such court shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation: - The printing or publication of the judgment of any High Court or the Supreme Court does not amount to an offence within the meaning of this section.