NEW DELHI, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government has urged all political parties to share their views on the review of existing rape laws in the wake of public demand for stricter punishment for rapists following the recent gangrape of a 23-year- old medical student on a moving bus in the national capital.
Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has asked all political parties in the country to give their views to a judicial panel, headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice J.S. Verma, instituted last month to suggest changes in the laws to ensure faster and harsher punishment for culprits in sexual assault cases on women.
"I shall be grateful if you could forward your views on the issue to the committee so that the committee can consider them while making their recommendations. I would urge you to communicate your views as early as possible as the committee has been asked to finalize its recommendations early," the Home Minister wrote.
The letter has been made available to the media on Tuesday.
Though under the existing laws, rape carries a maximum punishment of life in jail, the government's action came in the wake of massive public outcry to hang all the six men who had allegedly gangraped the Delhi University student on a moving bus on Dec. 16 and then dumped her on the roads, along with her boyfriend.
The victim died last Saturday at a Singapore hospital where she was shifted after her condition at a government hospital in Indian capital deteriorated.
All the six men are currently in judicial custody awaiting trial and the Delhi Police have slapped murder charges on the alleged rapists, which carry a maximum of death penalty. The government has also set up a judicial inquiry commission to probe into the gangrape and find out lapses, if any, on the part of authorities and "fix responsibility".