Parliament proceedings on Monday were marked by irate legislators calling for stringent punishment for those convicted for rape after the gangrape and murder of the 25-year-old Hyderabad veterinarian came to light, and BJP members protesting Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remarks terming Narendra Modi and Amit Shah as "migrants and infiltrators".
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019, after a lengthy debate.
MPs call for death penalty, lynching for rape convicts
Members in the Lok Sabha spoke against recent cases of rapes in various parts of the country, including the one of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad. As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Om Birla said he would allow members to raise the "serious issue" in Zero Hour.
The Congress' Uttam Kumar Reddy raised the issue of the rape and murder of the 25-year-old veterinarian and slammed the Telangana home minister for his "insensitive" remarks. He also slammed the state police for initially delaying to lodge a case.
Numerous MPs, including Saugata Roy of the TMC and TDP's Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar called for death penalty to those convicted for rape. The most strongly-worded remarks were by Samajwadi Party member Jaya Bachchan, who said that the "best justice" for the victim of Telangana rape and murder case is "public lynching" of the persons who committed the heinous crime.
The actor-turned-politician said that if the authorities are not able to provide security to women, then the judgment must be left to the public. "Those who failed to provide security and those who committed the crime should be exposed in public and then let people decide," she added.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said he was falling short of words to condemn the heinous crime. "We are ready for discussions in the House so that stringent provisions in laws could be explored to give punishment to those involved in such ghastly incidents," he said.
The minister said the incident has hurt everyone. He observed that such heinous crimes were happening even after strict law were framed post the December 2012 Delhi gangrape.
BJP protests 'infiltrator' barbs against Modi, Shah
BJP members in Lok Sabha protested against Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah "infiltrators" and sought an apology, saying they will not tolerate such an insult.
Members of treasury benches were on their feet as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi attacked the Leader of the Congress in the House and then took a swipe at the party over its interim president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins by dubbing her an "infiltrator". Joshi said he is forced to draw this inference that the Congress, led by an infiltrator, will pursue others in a similar manner.
Chowdhury, who had made the infiltrator barb at the BJP bigwigs while speaking on the contentious National Register of Citizens issue, sought to explain his remarks and said he will apologise if the BJP is not satisfied with his reponse. He used the opportunity to underline his Opposition against the NRC, saying his family had come from Bangladesh.
"We do not have many documents so if somebody calls (us) an infiltrator, we cannot do much," he said.
Rajya Sabha passes Bill banning e-cigarettes
The Rajya Sabha passed a Bill which seeks to prohibit the production, trade, transport, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes in the country. The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019, was passed in Lok Sabha earlier this month.
The government had issued ordinance to ban e-cigarettes in September. The new law would replace the ordinance.
"We have done it with very pious intentions. There is no vested interest," Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the House in his reply on the Bill.
During the debate on the Bill, some members expressed apprehensions that the government had brought in this Bill under pressure from tobacco lobby and demanded that the ban be extended to raw tobacco and conventional cigarettes.
The minister said he would be the happiest person on the earth if tobacco could be banned completely.
The Bill defines electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as electronic devices that heat a substance, which may contain nicotine and other chemicals, to create vapour for inhalation. It provides for imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both to a first time violator.
For any subsequent offence, it says that the crime will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to three years, along with a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
Under the Bill, no person is allowed to use any place for the storage of any stock of e-cigarettes. If any person stores any stock of e-cigarettes, he will be imprisoned for up to six months, or slapped with a fine of up to fifty thousand rupees, or both.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 02, 2019 19:42:44 IST