Our daughter still hasn’t got justice, say Nirbhaya’s parents

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A day after the Juvenile Justice Bill was passed by Parliament amid a walkout, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi reiterated that her daughter, Jyoti Singh, has still not got justice.

“The battle is far from over. The bill has only been approved, but we are where we were. We’ll continue with our fight. But all the same, I thank each and everyone for their support in the passage of the amended bill,” said Devi.

It may be noted on 22 December, the Rajya Sabha, where the amended Juvenile Justice bill was collecting dust for months together, was passed with parliamentarians across party lines supporting it. There were also some leaders who spoke of not passing it in its present form, but instead sending it to the Select Committee.

The new Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Lok Sabha in May.

Nirbhaya’s parents Asha Devi and Badrinath were present in the visitors’ gallery in the Rajya Sabha when the bill was tabled.

Earlier, Asha Devi expressed regret over the juvenile’s release, saying that, had the bill been passed timely, the juvenile would now have been released.

The juvenile convict, the most brutal of all who gang-raped Nirbhaya in 2012, was released from a remand home on 20 December after completing his three-year term amid protests by Nirbhaya’s parents and supporters.

Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi said institutions, where juveniles who have committed heinous crimes are housed, will be set up under the proposed law.

The law will not be applicable in retrospective, said parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu, explaining that the new law will not apply to the recently released juvenile convict.

On 22 December, Ramdas Athawale, a BJP ally from Maharashtra, had provoked angry objections in the Rajya Sabha when it was discussing the amended Juvenile Justice bill.