The country will not tolerate those committing rape and the law passed by Parliament in this regard will play an effective role in curbing crimes against women and girls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
He also said though the bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq could not be passed in Rajya Sabha in the Monsoon Session, “I assure the Muslim women that the whole country stands by them to provide them social justice.”
In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address, he said when we move ahead in the national interest, a change in the lives of the poor, the backward, the exploited and the deprived ones can also be brought about.
“No civil society can tolerate any kind of injustice towards women of the country. The nation will not tolerate those committing rapes. With this in mind, Parliament has made a provision of strictest punishment by passing the Criminal Act Amendment Bill. Those guilty of rape will get a minimum sentence of 10 years and those found guilty of raping girls below the age of 12 years will be awarded the death sentence,” Modi said.
He said, recently, courts have awarded stringent punishment to rape convicts after a speedy trial lasting only a few days. The new law will play an effective role in curbing crimes against women and girls, the prime minister said.
Referring to the issue of talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq, he said economic growth will be incomplete without a social transformation.
“The triple talaq bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, although it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha, I assure the Muslim women that the whole country stands by them to provide them social justice. When we move ahead in the national interest, a change in the lives of the poor, the backward, the exploited and the deprived ones can also be brought about,” Modi said.
To make the proposed law palatable to the opposition, a provision of bail for the accused from a magistrate has been added. The amendments to the bill, cleared by the Union Cabinet recently, also has the provision for settlement between the husband and the wife. The FIR can now only be lodged by the victim, her blood relations and those who have become her relatives by virtue of her marriage.
Others, like neighbours, cannot lodge an FIR to prevent misuse of the proposed law. In his address, the Prime Minister also referred to the performance of both Houses of Parliament, saying whenever a discussion on Parliament is held, it is about hold-ups, noisy scenes and stalling of proceedings.
“But when something good happens, it is not given much importance. The Monsoon Session of Parliament ended just a few days back. You will be glad to know that the productivity of Lok Sabha remained 118 per cent and that of Rajya Sabha — 74 per cent. All the members rose above party interests to make the Monsoon Session most productive and this is why the Lok Sabha passed 21 bills and Rajya Sabha 14,” he said.
He said the recently-concluded session will always be remembered as a “session for social justice and youth welfare”.
Modi pointed out that a number of important bills beneficial to the youth and the backward classes were passed during the session, including he one to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.
“This step will prove to be the one to move forward our march towards achieving the goal of social justice,” he said.
He also referred to a bill which overturned a Supreme Court order putting in place safeguards in a law on atrocities against SCs and STs.
“This Act will give more security to the interests of SC and ST communities. This will also forbid criminals from indulging in atrocities and will instil confidence among the dalit communities,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi also thanked the MPs for a productive Parliament session.