NEW DELHI: India’s opposition said on Sunday it would seek tougher punishments for juveniles after the first verdict in the New Delhi gang-rape case saw a teenager sentenced to three years’ detention, sparking widespread anger.
The rape and murder of a 23-year-old student by six attackers on a moving bus in December last year sparked nationwide protests and led to reforms that mandated longer sentences for adult sex offenders.
Sushma Swaraj, opposition leader in the lower house of parliament, said she would introduce a bill this week to amend the law for juveniles.
“This meagre punishment of just three years does not do justice,” Swaraj wrote on Twitter.
“The sentence must commensurate with the gravity of the offence irrespective of the age of the offender,” she added.
On Saturday, a juvenile court in New Delhi sentenced the only under-age suspect in the gang—who was 17 at the time of the crime—to three years in a correctional facility.
This was the maximum sentence under India’s law, which treats all under-18s as children and seeks to reform rather than punish them.