Tharoor faces Cong snub for tweet on gangrape victim

New Delhi: Congress today snubbed Union Minister Shashi Tharoor for his tweet favouring making public the identity of the Delhi gang-rape victim and naming the proposed anti-rape legislation after her.

"It is his personal opinion. I suggest that since he is a part of the government, he should have given the suggestion to the government rather than making any such statement in public. Party forum is also open for giving suggestions.

"It would have been better had he given this advice to the government as after all the decision has to be taken at their level and Home Minister (Sushilkumar Shinde) has to take the decision," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.

Shashi Tharoor. Reuters.

Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resources Development, had yesterday favoured making public the identity of the gang-rape victim wondering what interest was served by keeping her name under wraps. He also said the revised anti-rape legislation should be named after the victim if her parents do not have any objection.

Congress' disapproval of Tharoor's remarks has interestingly come on a day when the family of the victim said it had no objection to naming the proposed new anti-rape law after the girl.

Alvi, however, said "there is no such practice in our country where laws of Indian Penal Code are named after individuals, unlike in the US where they are named after the senators who move the bills.

Under the law, the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed. Printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom rape is committed is an offence under section 228-A of Indian Penal Code.

His comments also came close on the heels of Delhi Police registering a case against an English daily for publishing material which could lead to the identification of the victim. This is not the first time Tharoor had courted controversy with his public comments.

In 2009, Tharoor had tweeted he would travel in "in cattle class of solidarity with all our holy cows", causing a political uproar. He was also involved in controversies surrounding IPL in 2010 when Lalit Modi had alleged that he was asked by an influential Union Minister not to get into details of Sunanda Pushkar who was given equity of approximately 4.5 per cent in one of the league franchisees.

Tharoor denied the allegations but was forced to quit as Minister of State for External Affairs.

PTI