Nirbhaya gang-rape: Demand in Rajya Sabha for immediate passage of juvenile bill

New Delhi: A demand for expeditious passage of the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act to allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases was made in the Rajya Sabha today, soon after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case.

As memories of the brutal 2012 Nirbhaya case returned with the release of the juvenile, Derek O’Brien (TMC) said he has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business and taking up the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014.

He said the House had only three days to go before end of the Winter Session and government’s listed agenda includes commercial courts, arbitration and real estate bill.

The government has not even listed the juvenile bill for discussion and passing today, he said during Zero Hour.

“It is incumbent upon the House to listen to what is going on outside,” he said, asking the House to rise above politics. “It is not a perfect bill but let us list it and pass the bill,” O’Brien said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the bill was listed on December 8, 10 and 11. “We have listed it for tomorrow,” he said, adding if all agree the bill can be taken up for discussion today itself.

Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said O’Brien has raised a relevant point. If the government and opposition agree the bill can be discussed. “But government has to list the bill.”

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the bill is not listed today even though the Congress had at all-party meeting last week agreed to its passage.

Today, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 has been listed for passing. “We are committed to passing it today,” he said adding the juvenile bill can be taken up tomorrow.