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New rape law: Parliamentary panel to take final call on February 4

Thursday, 31 January 2013 - 9:00am IST | Place: New Delhi
The government will promptly pursue the recommendations of the Justice Verma committee to effectively deal with cases of sexual assault against women, prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.

The government will promptly pursue the recommendations of the Justice Verma committee to effectively deal with cases of sexual assault against women, prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.

Though Singh lauded the former chief justice of India and his two committee members for completing the work within a short period of 30 days, Union home ministry sources indicated that some controversial suggestions — especially those related to the armed forces and the police — might get dropped.  

A parliamentary standing committee is expected to go through the recommendations on February 4 and take a final call on what to incorporate and what to leave out.

The committee was formed in the wake of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in Delhi on the night of December 16.

Though the committee has not suggested the death sentence as a punishment for rape and murder, it has proposed that a convict be kept behind bars for life — that is till his natural death. The committee has also ruled out chemical castration.

New offences have been created and stiffer punishment has been suggested for those committing such offence that leaves a person in a vegetative state. The new punishable offences include disrobing a woman, voyeurism, stalking, and trafficking.

The committee recommended seven years imprisonment for acid attacks
on women and for voyeurism, including making MMS clips and passing them on
to others.
A home ministry source said the government might have reservations against suggestions in connection with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or those dealing with the police and other security forces when men in uniform stand accused in sexual assault cases.


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