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Juvenile justice bill passed in Rajya Sabha after marathon debate



Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi welcomes the passage of the bill.

Satisfied that the bill has been passed: Nirbhaya’s mother

The juvenile justice bill passed in Rajya Sabha through a voice vote. The bill will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee who will sign it into the law.

Left walks out of Rajya Sabha as the House votes on the juvenile justice bill.

Rajya Sabha votes on the juvenile justice bill.

Send the bill to juvenile justice bill to select committee: CPM’s Sitaram Yechury

If poverty was the reason behind rapes, how can Sweden which does not have a single poor person has the highest number of rapes? Can we explain it? That’s nature versus nurture: Meneka Gandhi

There is going to be a thorough inspection of juvenile homes: Meneka Gandhi

Meneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development, makes her statement in Rajya Sabha.

When there is no sex education and pornography is freely available to children on the internet, how are we going to address this issue? Asks Renuka Chaudhary, Congress

I have heard everyone talking about rape… Boys get raped as well, but this issue is not even discussed: Renuka Chaudhary, Congress

Let’s pass the bill because the country does not wish to wait any longer: Anand Sharma, Congress

In the bill, definition of heinous crimes needs more clarity: Anand Sharma, Congress

I’m glad today we have decided to pass this bill: Naresh Gujral, SAD

I urge the House that there are many lacunas in the bill which should be addressed: Anand Sharma, Congress

There should be more clarity in the bill with regard to ‘henous crimes’. What constitues ‘heinous’ crimes? Asks Anand Sharma, Congress

The House must ask if tough laws can deter crimes in India… There is a need for a social awakening: Anand Sharma, Congress

After the horryfing Nirbhaya case, a need was felt to lower the age of juvenile convicts to be treated as adults: Anand Sharma, Congress

Dawood Ibrahim when he first committed a crime in Mumbai was a juvenile and now he is India’s most wanted: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena

The House must respect the sentiments of Nirbhaya’s mother and pass this bill: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena

I want the minister to tell me in this bill there is a provision stating that if a juvenile commits a crime, special juvenile police will take over the case instead of state police. Sir, please tell me which state has the juvenile police?: K Keshava Rao, TRS

There is no hurry to pass the bill. Let the government send it to a select committee and consider suggestions made by parliamentarians: DMK MP Kanimozhi

DMK MP Kanimozhi starts speaking over juvenile justice bill.

Deputy Speaker in Rajya Sabha furious after Anil Madhav Dave argues with him. 

The fact that a boy capable of committing rape is considered a juvenile speaks volumes about our pathetic judicial system: Anil Madhav Dave, BJP

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children,” Gowda ends his speech quoting Nelson Mandela.

We must create a system which focuses on the reformation of the children: Rajeev Gowda, Congress

There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Institutions need to be built. It must not stop at the passing of this bill as the future of our children is at stake: Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Independent MP

BJP MP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi objects to Satish Candra Mishra’s remark asking Union Minister V K Singh to be sent to a reform home. The Speaker assures to look into the records and take appropriate action.

Need to impart moral values among children in schools: Satish Candra Mishra, BSP

I urge the House to reconsider the provision in the proposed bill that ensures that if a child commits a heinous crime, he will forever be deprived of livelihood as he will not be employed by either the government or the private sector: A Navneethakrishnan, AIADMK MP

Which is a bigger crime? If I sell the child or I offer drugs to a child? Both, I guess. But if we look at the current bill we have different penalties for them. Five years imprisonment if I sell a child and seven years for offering drugs to him. This needs to change: Derek o’brien

If our children are becoming criminals, you and I are responsible… Consider changing reform period from 3 to 7 years: Derek o’brien

Juvenile justice should be on the foundation of rehabilitation and reform: Derek o’brien

Unfortunately, due to the apathy of our so-called national parties, it is left to the regional parties to raise the issues of national importance: Derek o’brien  

I wonder whether or not the two major parties have lost grip on the public opinion… I stand here to support the bill: TMC MP Derek o’brien  

If a 13 or 14-year-old boy commits rape, will we further lower the age? Asks Rajya Sabha MP Anu Aga

I am against lowering the age of juvenile convicts to be treated as adults to 16 in rape cases: Rajya Sabha MP Anu Aga

India can’t progress if its women and children are not looked after by the government and the society: Samajwadi Party’s Ravi Prakash Verma

If these children are continued to be ignored, it will have disastrous consequences. The children need guidance and help from the government. I wish to reiterate piecemeal remedies will not solve this issue: Samajwadi Party’s Ravi Prakash Verma

I want to ask how the children who should have been in schools are being allowed to be used by criminals for their nefarious activities. Even in Delhi, there is nobody to take care of thousands of children: Samajwadi Party’s Ravi Prakash Verma

Piecemeal measures like making laws will not suffice when it comes to crimes against women: Samajwadi Party’s Ravi Prakash Verma

It is a pity that the national media highlights only a few issues while ignoring other important problems: Samajwadi Party’s Ravi Prakash Verma

Samajwadi Party MP Ravi Prakash Verma speaks on the juvenile justice bill.

Good lights, better patrolling in areas prone to crimes against women will work as a deterrence: Ghulam Nabi Azad

The juvenile convicts must be kept at special observation homes, away from hardened criminals so that they do not get radicalised: Ghulam Nabi Azad

I congratulate Nirbhaya’s mother for saying that she’s fighting this battle for all daughters of India, not just for her daughter: Ghulam Nabi Azad

The debate would not have taken place on this issue if the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case was not released: Ghulam Nabi Azad

I was the Union Health Minister when the shocking incident took place and I was fortunate enough to meet the victim and her family. I do not have the gumption to describe her condition: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Nirbhaya’s case was heart-rending and shocking. The incident shook the collective conscience of the nation: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks on the juvenile justice bill. Nirbhaya’s family had met him on Monday in this regard.

BJP MP agrees with Derek o’brien, says ready for the debate and pass the bill on Tuesday.

TMC MP Derek o’brien urges the Speaker to debate the bill at length and then pass it on Tuesday itself.

Earlier, Nirbhaya’s parents met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who assured the former that the bill would be passed in the House on Tuesday.

Let’s pass the juvenile justice bill, especially when Nirbhaya’s parents are present in the House: Meneka Gandhi

BJP MP Meneka Gandhi speaks in Rajya Sabha on the need to pass the juvenile justice bill.

Pass juvenile justice bill: Nirbhaya’s parents

New Delhi: The parents of the December 16 gang-rape victim on Tuesday met central minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to demand early passage of the juvenile justice bill in parliament.

“We have been assured that the bill will be passed in the Rajya Sabha today (Tuesday),” Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi told the media after the meeting at Naqvi’s residence here.

“He (juvenile convict) would not have been released if this bill had been passed six months ago. Though it has been delayed, we want this bill to be passed in parliament at the earliest,” she added.

Naqvi said: “We have held discussions with all concerned. All parties are of the view that the bill should be passed.”

Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedical student, was gang-raped and brutalised in a moving bus in Delhi in 2012.

The juvenile convicted for the 2012 gang rape was released from a correctional home in the national capital on December 20.

The juvenile justice bill was listed for discussion and passing in the Rajya Sabha on Monday after demands from members, amid protests over the release of the December 16 gang-rape juvenile convict.

The parents of ‘Nirbhaya’ on Monday led a massive demonstration in the national capital to demand an amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 so as to treat a juvenile committing a heinous crime as an adult offender.

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Triple Talaq: Are the concerns and efforts real?

It cannot be deied that BJP is outlawing triple talaq to gain political mileage both from sections of Muslim women and from those Hindus who will see it as Modi's distress over the sufferings of Muslim women and as a message to Muslims that the days when they were given excessive leeway by less assertive governments are now gone.

Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of Muslim women, VOA News
Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of Muslim women, VOA News
  • Triple Talaq has been seen as way of BJP gaining popularity among Muslims, and not as a real concern for the distressed women of the community.
  • BJP leaders are often accused of Anti-Muslim statements, which further proves the point.
  • However, if the law is passed, it will be a step towards empowerment of the Muslim women.

Only the naive will believe that deep concern for the welfare of Muslim “sisters” and for the maintenance of the “dignity of women” and “gender equality” persuaded the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to introduce the bill in parliament to ban the practice of triple talaq.

For a party whose founder in its previous incarnation, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, thought that only a civil war can solve the Hindu-Muslim problem, as Tripura’s Governor, Tathagata Roy of the BJP, reminded us recently, and a BJP candidate in the Gujarat elections sought a reduction in the numbers of “topi and dadhiwalas” (sartorial allusion to Muslims), it strains credulity to believe that it has been guided solely by laudable motives to put an end to an admittedly reprehensible custom.

The belief will persist, therefore, that it is a desire to “garner votes” which is behind the decision, notwithstanding Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad’s disavowal of such an intention.

Few will deny, of course, that the practice itself is highly condemnable, not least because it is illegal even in Islamic countries. For a secular country, therefore, to allow it to prevail will point to a flawed outlook whose roots lie deep in the political calculations.

It cannot be gainsaid that the BJP is outlawing triple talaq to gain political mileage both from sections of Muslim women and from those Hindus who will see the proposed law, first, as an example of “brother” Modi’s distress over the sufferings of Muslim women and, secondly, as a message to Muslims in general that the days are gone when they were given excessive leeway by less assertive governments.

The “secular” rulers of the past, on the other hand, also thought that they will gain votes by pandering to the predilections of the obscurantists among the minorities.

The worst example of this regressive attitude was the Shah Bano episode, when the Rajiv Gandhi government negated a Supreme Court verdict in favour of alimony for a divorced Muslim woman on the advice of Muslim fundamentalists.

Shayara Bano case was one of the biggest milestone cases in history of India which intensified the previously buried matter. Wikipedia Common
Shayara Bano case was one of the biggest milestone cases in history of India which intensified the previously buried matter. Wikipedia Common

The BJP’s rise from the sidelines of politics to the mainstream, can be traced through that event in the mid-1980s. The Congress will have to tread carefully in deciding on its stance on the bill which has followed the Supreme Court’s recent declaration of triple talaq as unconstitutional in a case involving the litigant, Shayara Bano.

The difficulty for the Congress is that it has given secularism a bad name by making the concept virtually synonymous with minority appeasement. While the BJP will not mind being closely associated with Hinduism, the Congress has been trying to shed the impression that it has become “mussalmanon ki party” or a party of Muslims, as the Congress leader, Ashok Gehlot, has said, ever since the 2014 defeat made him aware of this unwelcome image, as the A.K. Antony report pointed out.

The triple talaq bill gives it an opportunity to refurbish its reputation by articulating a rational position on drafting the law, aiming at protecting Muslim women from cruel and whimsical divorces and at the same time ensuring that the legislation does not lead to a police witch-hunt targeting men. Since the bill has to still pass through the Rajya Sabha, Parliament’s upper house, there is ample scope for fine-tuning it for smoothing out the rough edges, the most egregious of which is to introduce an element of criminality in a civil legal procedure.

If the Congress and other “secular” parties play a leading role in ensuring that the new law will unequivocally serve the ends of justice where no one — neither the women, nor the men, nor the children of divorced parents — will suffer, then these parties will be able to retrieve much of their lost reputation about cynical kowtowing to bigots in the Muslim community and reassure the country in general that politics can rise above partisan and opportunistic considerations.

From this standpoint, the bill provides a golden opportunity to the secular outfits even if the BJP runs away with much of the credit for introducing it.

Outside of politics, what is noteworthy is the failure of the Muslims to deal with the problem on their own. But ever since partition robbed the community of bold, educated leaders and self-confidence by inducing the minority complex of being forever under siege under the numerically superior Hindus — unlike other minorities like Sikhs and Parsis who have retained their poise and self-belief — the Muslims have come under the retrogressive influence of the mullahs with the result that they have remained stuck in the past.

Not all Muslim have the freedom to do whatever they want. They are still in the clutches of Triple Talaq.
Not all Muslim have the freedom to do whatever they want. They are still in the clutches of Triple Talaq.

Triple talaq is one manifestation of such backwardness along with polygamy and the veiling of women as they reinforce the age-old patriarchal norms. Only a small section of upper middle class women — film stars and sports personnel being prominent among them — has been able to extricate themselves from the grasp of medievalism and enter the modern world. But the majority of the poor and lower middle class women have been denied the opportunity of advancement by orthodox Muslim society. The new law offers them a ray of hope. IANS Live