Congress seeks longer prison term for sex offences



New Delhi: Seeking stringent laws to deal with crime like rape, Congress on Monday said it has sought extension in the imprisonment for perpetrators of such atrocities.

In its recommendations to the Justice JS Verma committee, the party has also sought a review of the Juvenile Justice Act to allow trial of accused who is not an adult at the time of committing such heinous crimes.

AICC spokesman PC Chacko, however, refused to go into the details of the recommendations saying it would lead to a debate and vitiate the atmosphere ahead of submission of the report by the Justice Verma Committee.

The government had set up the three-member panel on December 23 to review criminal laws with a view to provide speedier justice in cases of aggravated sexual assault.

He said the party has favoured extension of the present term of imprisonment to people convicted for aggravated sexual assaults.

"A person who is not 18-years-old cannot be tried (in courts) along with other accused. For that we require amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act," Chacko said in response to media queries on the Congress' recommendations to the Justice Verma Committee.

Chacko refused to state whether chemical castration of the perpetrators of sexual attack was among the several recommendations of the party.

Congress leaders like Renuka Chaudhary had sought chemical castration of rapists, but the party has made it clear that no such suggestion has been made by AICC chief Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi had recently held consultations with top party leaders as well as legal experts on the issue.

PTI