Bhubaneswar: A delegation of Mahila Adhikar Abhiyaan, Odisha lead by its chairperson Namrata Chadha met Governor Ganeshi Lal at Governor’s House here, Friday, and submitted a memorandum seeking formulation of a law in line with Disha Act of Andhra Pradesh (AP) for speedy conviction of rape accused.
Chadha said, “Despite efforts at administrative and policy-making levels, rape cases are increasing by the day. Reports, meanwhile, revealed that more than three rape cases are reported every day. The objective of the delegation of ‘Mahila Adhikar Abhiyaan’ was to draw the attention of the Governor to the fact that recently the AP Government has passed Disha Bill (named after the shadow name of a rape victim) in the Assembly that has provision of death penalty within 21 days of the registration of FIR.”
AP has made preparations to send it to the President after completing the due formalities. “Our organisation feels that the situation in Odisha is even worse. Our demand is that similar initiatives are needed in Odisha in the lines with Andhra Pradesh,” she said.
There should be a specific time frame for conviction, especially in the cases of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO). In such cases, provisions should be made to hand the convict the harshest possible penalty, preferably death sentence.
The proposed law should ensure that the police file the charge-sheet within a maximum period of 10 days of registration of FIR.
Rajlakshmi Das, a member of the outfit, said that the trials in these cases should be conducted in special courts and the entire process should be completed within four weeks. “Extremely stringent action against the incidents of child sexual abuse is the need of the hour,” she added.
The number of rape cases has steadily increased from 2013 to 2018. In 2013, the number of rape cases stood at 1,832 which increased to 2,021 in 2014 and 2,286 in 2015. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, as many as 2,144, 2,221 and 2,502 rape cases were reported.
Another member Madhusmita Parida said, “We would like to send this message to the Chief Minister through you that a Bill should be passed with strict provisions against rape, rape and murders, rape of minors, child sexual abuse and the culprits should be handed the harshest punishment possible under the law. Such a Bill should be tabled in the Assembly in the next session.”
The Governor assured them that he would look after the matter with seriousness.