Demonic attacks on women have shaken the conscience of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday (December 6) and advocated that those convicted under the POCSO Act should be deprived of their right to mercy petition.
It is for the Parliament to take a decision on the matter and make necessary constitutional amendments, “but the thought of all of us is moving ahead in that direction”, he said while addressing an event in Rajasthan’s Abu Road on the issue of women safety.
The president said women safety is a very serious issue and a lot of work has been done on this but much remains to be done.
“Incidents of demonic assaults on daughters shake the conscience of the country. It is the duty of every parent, citizens, yours and mine to strengthen among boys the sense of respect towards women.
“In this context, several things are coming up. Such convicts have been given the right of mercy petition by the Constitution. I have said that there should be reconsideration on this. In cases under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, they be deprived of the right of mercy petition. They do not need any such right,” he said.
The president’s remarks came at a time the country witnessed several cases of brutal attacks on women.
A rape survivor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was set alight by five men, including two of the accused, on Thursday when she was on her way to court. The woman has been battling for life at a hospital in Delhi with 90% burns.
A 25-year-old veterinarian was raped, killed and burnt in Hyderabad last month. The charred body of the woman, working as an assistant veterinarian at a state-run hospital, was found under a culvert in Shadnagar, near Hyderabad, in the morning of November 28, a day after she went missing.
Speaking on women empowerment, the president said education is important for empowerment of women.
“It is true that when you make a boy educated, it gives benefit to one family but when you make a girl educated, its benefit goes to two families. Another important fact is that the children of an educated woman do not remain uneducated,” he said.
Kovind said that financial empowerment of women was equally important and the Centre’s Jan Dhan Yojana has played an important role in that direction.
Remembering BR Ambedkar on his death anniversary, the president said that Ambedkar always gave priority to women empowerment.
He said that there has been an improvement in child sex ratio due to women development centric schemes and Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been honoured for the improvement.
Also Read: Rajya Sabha passes POCSO amendment bill
“I have been informed that an improvement of nearly 35 points is child sex ratio is there in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. This is an important social change. Birth of 1003 daughters per 1000 sons in Rajasthans Banswara district is a good thing, he said.
He said that example of political empowerment of women are also there.
“This year, for the present Lok Sabha, election of 78 women MP is an achievement for our society. In rural India, more than 10 lakh women through Panchayti Raj Institutions are also playing their role effectively, he said.
The president was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day national convention on empowerment of women for social transformation at Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Abu Road in Sirohi district.
MHA urges President to reject mercy plea of Nirbhaya gangrape convict
The Union Home Ministry, has sent to President Ram Nath Kovind the recommendation of the Delhi government rejecting the mercy plea of one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case, officials said on Friday (December 7).
The move came two days after the file rejecting the mercy plea was sent by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to the Home Ministry.
The file has been forwarded to the President for consideration and final decision. The Home Ministry has also commented in the file recommending the rejection of the mercy petition of one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case, the official said.
Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts facing the gallows for the rape-and-murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student, had filed the mercy petition before the President.
Nirbhaya was gangraped on December 16, 2012. She later succumbed to her injuries. The brutality of the rape had rocked the nation leading to massive protests.
The rejection of the mercy plea of the Nirbhaya gang rape comes at a time when there is nationwide outrage over the gangrape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad.
Vijay Sharma had filed a mercy plea to the President on October 29. The Delhi government which had received the plea first had rejected it on December 4, stating that there was no room for mercy in the case, given the brutal nature of the crime.