Thursday 24th Jan 2019
Radiance Views Weekly
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Government’s Ordinance Vs Civilians



The government’s ordinance on Justice Verma Committee Report met with strong reactions from women’s group. The ordinance has accepted a lot of recommendations of the report; however it has rejected some of the proposals as well. Of those which got rejected include marital rape, Armed Forces Special Power’s Act (AFSPA), political reform whereby politicians would be debarred from contesting elections if a court takes cognisance of rape charges and the separate Bill on rights for women.

Many activists and women’s groups are crying betrayal on the part of government for not implementing Verma Committee’s proposals as they are and hence are oversimplifying the issue. Among the issues that are rejected, marital rape seems to be the most controversial as it not only has a religious angle to it, but there are some significant problems in its implementation as well. The implementation of marital rape would result in the breakdown of marriage and it would also have serious consequences in those cases wherein man is the only breadwinner. Hence, the government’s decision to withhold it seems a little rationale as there needs to be a mechanism for its implementation, before it is brought into effect. As per the religious angle, Mohammad Ahmed, Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, speaking to Radiance, said that it is against the ruling of Islam to convict the husband under the charges of marital rape as the institution of marriage gives the right for the man and woman to approach each other. He further hailed the move of the government to withhold the issue of marital rape in its ordinance as it would be against the religious injunctions that Islam promulgates.

Regarding AFSPA, Mr. Ahmed said that it is known now that the security forces commit atrocities on the civilian population in conflict areas, hence there is a need to look at with the humanitarian lens. Mr. Qasim Rasool Ilyas, General Secretary, Welfare Party of India, while speaking to Radiance fully backed the recommendations of the Verma Committee report and said that it is completely unconstitutional for P Chidambaram to say that army need to be consulted in relation to AFSPA. He said that if atrocities are taking place on civilians then the culprits should be tried in under the same law and no protection or shield be given to any person just on the basis that he belongs to the armed forces.

The government has once again come under sharp criticism from its citizens. Only time will tell whether the government budges to the demand of people or not.

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