Anti-rape Bill in Parliament today; age of consent 18 now

Niticentral Staff | Mar 19, 2013

Anti-rape Bill in Parliament today; age of consent 18 now

A day after the Union Cabinet cleared the Anti-rape Bill by retaining the age of consent for sex at 18 years, Bill set for Parliament’s nod on Tuesday.

Sources said that Bill will first be introduced in Lok Sabha on Tuesday and it will comfortably be passed there as Government has the required number in the lower House.

Earlier on Monday, the Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared amendments to the The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 agreed at an all party meeting.

The latest version of the Bill retains the age of consent to 18 years as was in the Ordinance promulgated on February.

On Monday’s meeting, the Government also diluted the sections dealing with voyeurism and stalking to “reduce gross abuse”. Now, both the offences will be bailable for first time offenders. However, repeat offenders would be denied bail and punishment would extend to a maximum of five years in jail.

In a bid to prevent misuse, the term stalking has been defined and it would be deemed as offence only when indulged into persistently.

Disrobing a woman by force, even at a private place including a house, would be a punishable offence with jail term of upto seven years.

Earlier, disrobing a woman at a public place was a punishable offence but Government was of the view that the mention of public place was prone to misuse by offenders.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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