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No death, chemical castration for rapists in Cong draft bill

Despite women's organisations and protesters putting pressure on the UPA for introducing death penalty for rape accused,  Congress may not succumb to the demand.

Even as its women's wing has come out in support of capital punishment for rapists, Congress' draft proposal has suggested life imprisonment and setting up of dedicated fast-track courts with a deadline of three months for disposing such case, reported CNN-IBN.

Based on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's interactions with NAC members and civil rights activists, the growing perception within the party is that prescribing death penalty could mean rapists getting more violent with the victim and even resorting to murdering her, reported Economic Times.

AP

There is also a suggestion to re-draft the Juveniles Act and lower the age till which an accused can avail the benefits of being a 'minor'. Some people are of the opinion that only those below 15 years should be described as juvenile.

One of the accused involved in the gangrape case of the 23-year-old is a juvenile and aged a few months less than 18 years.

Earlier, there were reports that the draft included provisions like chemical castration of perpetrators of rape in rare cases. However, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters, "We have no proposal to include chemical castration as a punishment in the draft bill."

The ministry will prepare a summary of the suggestions received and will submit it to the Justice Verma-headed three-member committee set up to review existing laws and make recommendations for changes in them to effectively check crimes against women.