When Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan claimed in parliament on Monday that people involved in heinous rape-murders were best "lynched in public", the idea found favour with many who believed that conventional punishments are not adequate to stem the occurrence of such crimes. A notable exception was Badrinath Singh, the father of a medical student who was brutalised before being killed in the national capital seven years ago.
"It's alright if somebody who's not that well-read says that rapists should be handed over to mobs to be killed, but those in our parliament should keep the laws of this country in mind. Do any of our laws allow for rapists to be subjected to mob justice? Such remarks may be made in the heat of the moment, but I don't favour them," the father of the 23-year-old woman -- now known widely as "Nirbhaya" -- told NDTV.
Earlier, Ms Bachchan had led a chorus of angry and impassioned voices in the Lok Sabha against the brutal rape and murder of a veterinarian near Hyderabad on Wednesday night. "These kinds of people need to be brought out in public and lynched. I think it is time... the people want the government to give a proper and definite answer," she said.
Her demand received the support of many colleagues, including Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty.
However, Mr Singh claimed that effective implementation of existing laws was the need of the hour, not changing them. "There is no shortfall in our laws, the problem lies in those who implement them. Even in our case, delays happened due to those in the administration," he said.
He claimed that mere discussions on rape will not help when little is being done on the ground to ensure that the law is implemented. "We have courts, but few judges. There are very few judges, and too many lawyers. Everybody talks about ways to rectify the situation but nobody ever steps up to do anything about it," Mr Singh said.
The 2012 Delhi gangrape case had given rise to nationwide protests, following which four of the accused were sentenced to death. An accused in the case moved a mercy petition before the President a few days ago.