Moradabad (UP): Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday stoked a fresh controversy after saying that rapists should not be handed death penalty as boys make "mistakes".
"Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys. They commit mistakes)," he said.
At an election rally in Moradabad, in Uttar Pradesh, the Mulayam also said that if his party leads the government at the Centre, he would change the law.
Mulayam Singh Yadav
Citing the recent example of a court sentencing three men found guilty of gang-raping two women in the abandoned Shakti Mills in Mumbai last year, he said there was a need to change the new rape law which provides for death sentence to repeat rape offenders.
"Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will change such laws when we come to power ... we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases," said the leader whose party is in power in Uttar Pradesh.
"Efforts will be made to change such a law, so that those misusing it are punished. Those filing false reports will also be taken to task," he said.
Yadav said boys and girls fall in love but due to differences they fall apart later on. "When their friendship ends, the girl complains she has been raped," he said, stressing the need for changes in the anti-rape law.
"If boys and girls have difference, and the girl goes and gives a statement that I have been raped, then the poor fellows are punished," he added.