The government must get the anti-rape bill passed by parliament by March 22 after consensus was reached at the all party meeting on the issue, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said Tuesday.
"Having reached a consensus at the all party meeting yesterday (Monday), we must get the amendments passed by both houses of parliament before the (budget session) recess begins," Gandhi told the party MPs at a meeting of the Congress parliamentary party in the parliament house here.
The bill has to be passed by April 4 as it will replace an ordinance promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee Feb 3.
Parliament will break for a month-long recess March 22.
The criminal laws amendment bill was approved by the cabinet Monday.
According to Gandhi, the cabinet approved several far-reaching amendments to the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act.
The bill incorporates views of the Justice JS Verma panel formed after the ghastly gang-rape of a Delhi woman Dec 16, 2012 to suggest changes in laws to make punishment for crimes against women stringent. The victim later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.