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JJ Act: Opposition questions BJP over ‘sudden haste’

Following the Supreme Court’s rejection of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) plea against release of the youngest convict in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case on Monday, a political storm was kicked up in Parliament for the passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill, which comes up in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The Apex Court on Monday dismissed DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal’s plea against the release, saying “there has to be a clear legislative sanction” in this regard. “If anything has to be done, it has to be done according to the law. We have to enforce the law,” a vacation Bench comprising justices A K Goel and U U Lalit said while refusing to entertain her plea.

Meanwhile, the government said the amendments to the JJ Act will allow minors between 16 and 18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The government is ready and very keen to pass this Juvenile Bill during the current session.” Parliament’s Winter session concludes on Wednesday.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said he has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business in the RS and taking up the Bill. “The House had only three days to go before end of the Winter session and the 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 (Monday),” he said during the 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 it,” said O’Brien.

Both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were briefly adjourned over the DDCA issue. Congress members trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. They demanded his resignation for his alleged role in the DDCA scam.

The Congress also accused the government of playing “brazen mischief” by proposing to bring the unlisted Juvenile Justice Bill in Rajya Sabha on Monday, alleging it was to “defame the Opposition” and divert attention from the DDCA issue.

“Let them not do this mischief. This is a total brazen mischief on the part of the government.... This is only to divert the attention of the Opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
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