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Name anti-rape law after braveheart, consider all accused as adults: Father

CNN-IBN
Jan 03, 2013 at 07:30am IST

New Delhi: The father of the 23-year-old paramedical student, who was brutally gangraped in a moving bus in the national capital on December 16, has said that it would be an honour if the new anti-rape law is named after the braveheart.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, the father of the Delhi braveheart said, "The entire country stood up for her...if a law is named after her, it would be an honour. We really want that."

Calling for stricter laws against rape, the father of the 23-year-old braveheart, who had succumbed to her injuries after battling for life for over 12 days, said that boys older than 14 years should be considered adults in such cases, adding that the law needs to be amended to punish the guilty.

It must be noted that one of the six accused in the brutal gangrape and murder case has claimed to be a minor. However, the police have decided to go for a bone marrow test on him to determine his real age.

He further said, "Political parties tend to do politics...hope this doesn't turn into just a political issue, we want a stronger law."

The family had earlier also said that they would not object to naming the revised anti-rape law after the braveheart. They in fact said that it would be a matter of honour for them. 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 the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

On New Year day, Minister of State for Human Resources Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor started the debate by suggesting that a tougher anti-rape law be named after the 23-year-old Delhi braveheart.

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.

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