New Delhi: A day after Delhi gang rape victim was cremated, BJP on Tuesday demanded that there should be no provision for convicts, sentenced to death in rape-cum-murder cases, to file a mercy petition.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj raised the demand while attacking the UPA government for the "secrecy" in the cremation of the December 16 gang rape victim, who was raped in a moving bus.
"The culprits be hanged and the government should not accept any mercy petitions in such cases. If this can be done then this will be the only respect to that victim," she said while referring to five cases of rape-cum-murders in which the UPA government, she said, had granted pardon to convicts.
Swaraj, who was addressing a condolence meeting organized by Delhi BJP to pay tribute to the 23-year-old victim, also demanded that such cases should be moved only to fast track courts and within six months they should be decided.
"The trial of rape cases should be completed within six months and capital punishment be given in cases of rape and murder," she demanded.
She said BJP will utilise the Budget Session of the Parliament for making stringent laws against offenders of such crimes. Swaraj said she had spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that a special session of the Parliament be called to examine the existing laws regarding rape as there is no scope of giving death penalty in such cases.
"We feel that if a murder takes place after kidnap and rape, then death penalty should be the only punishment. But my demand of special session was rejected by Home Minister. Then we demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the security of women but that was also rejected," she said.
Swaraj said as they have not called the special session of Parliament, "we will utilise the Budget Session of the Parliament."
"It is an urgent need that there is an examination of all the laws regarding women this year (2013). There should be severe punishment for violence against women," the BJP leader said. Accusing the government of being interested in performing "drama" over the rape case, Swaraj disapproved the "covert way" in which the government conducted the girl's cremation.
"We condemn the way government maintained a secrecy regarding the cremation of the girl. If people had known about the venue of cremation what harm would it have done? They kept misguiding us," Swaraj said.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely said the gang rape of the girl could not be described as just "cruel, brutal, barbaric or beastly" and that it appeared that "we have failed the test of civility".
"Crimes are sometimes categorised as cruel, then brutal, then barbaric and then beastly. But in this case all these four words will fall short of describing the crime that has taken place...The parameters of a good civilisation are measured by the condition of women and the behaviour that is being meted out to them in that civilization. It seems we have failed the test of civility," he said.
He demanded that laws should be changed and made harsher so that culprits are afraid before committing a crime.
"We have to self access ourselves when we express our condolences over the death of that child. Time has come when lawmakers should come together to make a strong law against such crimes," Jaitley said.
The 23-year old paramedic student, who was gang-raped and brutalised by six criminals on December 16 died on Saturday after battling for life in a hospital in Singapore.