New Delhi: Cutting across party lines, political leaders on Tuesday demanded death penalty for the four convicts in December 16 gang-rape case, saying the punishment should set a precedent so that nobody dares to even think of committing such an act.
"They should be given capital punishment, as this is a case of gang-rape and murder. The incident is of heinous crime and the provisions of law also favours capital punishment. The four should be hanged so it would be a model and deter others from committing such crime," said Sushma Swaraj, senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.
She said that she was not happy with the quantum of punishment awarded to the juvenile accused, who was sentenced to a three-year term at a detention centre after being held guilty by the Juvenile Justice Board of gangrape and murder 10 days ago.
Welcoming the verdict, Congress general secretary Ambika Soni said the punishment should convey the right message and prevent such incidents from recurring.
"I have maintained that the punishment should convey a message to those who dare to carry out such an act. I hope such incidents won`t occur again," Soni said.
Sharing her views, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat stressed on the need to expedite trials in such incidents as there were thousands of pending cases which were waiting for justice for years.
"In such a case where evidence was clear, it took nine months to deliver justice. Think of those cases in which our women and children are victims of sexual assault and are waiting for justice for years," Karat said, adding "we want that the impact of the verdict of this case should be felt on other cases also".
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the incident had not only shocked Delhi but also whole nation.
She said her government had set up the fast track court and "they have done, so let us just see what the next step would be".
Dikshit said that she had a meeting with Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and "they are working on digital diary, thus making the system more quicker so that exchange of information is quick."
"The incident was a wake up call and so PCR vans are being put up, CCTV cameras are being enabled and this would be done in months," she said.
Praising Delhi Police for its investigation, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said "we have made several amendments in the laws".
"Now trials in such cases would be done under the new laws, which will ensure capital punishment for such heinous crime," he said.
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said that nothing less that death penalty would do full justice as the case falls in the rarest of rare category.
"Quantum of punishment can go from life imprisonment to capital punishment as this is a rarest of rare case and you won`t get such abundant evidence generally," she said.