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Updated: April 4, 2013 04:28 IST

Stringent anti-rape laws get President’s nod

Sandeep Joshi
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President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the anti-rape bill which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism. File photo
The Hindu
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the anti-rape bill which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism. File photo

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to stricter laws to check crime against women, particularly cases of sexual assault. A Bill to replace the Ordinance that the Union government promulgated in February to enforce harsher anti-rape laws was passed in Parliament last month.

“The Criminal Law [Amendment] Bill, 2013 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 19th March, 2013, and by the Rajya Sabha on 21st March, 2013. The President of India has accorded his assent to the Bill on 2nd April, 2013 and it will now be called the Criminal Law [Amendment] Act, 2013,” a government communiqué said.

The new laws have provisions for increased sentence for rape convicts, including life-term and death sentence, besides providing for stringent punishment for offences such as acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism. Through the revised Bill, the government has amended various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

As per the amended law, a rape convict can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 20 years, which may extend to remainder of the convict’s natural life. It also provides for the death sentence to repeat offenders. And for the first time, stalking and voyeurism have been defined as non-bailable offences if repeated for a second time, while acid attack convicts can get a 10-year jail sentence.

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A great job done. Now enforcement agencies to act unbiasedly and get a good name. Justice should be rendered very fast, no doubt at all.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 16:41 IST

I wonder if soon we would need a law that enforces rapid trials and judgments of
those cases. It is the 5th month after the Delhi rape case but the accused are yet to
be convicted, that too in a such highly publicized case. Why are these evidences so
hard to be found for fair cases and yet easily manipulated for unfair ones.Imagine
what will be the length of these 5 months in case of "normal" cases.
God save India judiciary system.

from:  Muzmil Majid
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 16:27 IST

A minimum of 10 years in jail for acid attacks? To me, that is
ridiculous, and makes a mockery of the offense. Your newspaper carried
a report of 4 sisters who had acid thrown at them in Uttar Pradesh.
Why our law makers found a minimum of 10 years enough to stop acid
attacks, is beyond me.
Acid attacks cause disfigurement, loss of eyesight, life long medical
issues, and even death in some cases. Victims are ostracized are are
no longer acceptable because of their disfigurement. 10 years is
hardly enough to stop acid attacks. To me, an acid attack is akin to
murder, and should be treated as one. It will take many years before
our law makers will look at acid attacks as heinous crimes. Until
then, victims of acid attacks will continue to die, and suffer in
silence. Justice will not be served until we treat acid attacks as
murder.

from:  Rama Goutharaju
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 16:20 IST

Good Law. Hope the criminals will start facing full force of law.Still
society has to change their thinking otherwise things will not improve.

from:  Gagan
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 16:13 IST

Much has been said and written about the problem of rape in India. It
remains to be seen what sea-change, this law will bring. I believe
this is a first step. Indian society is plagued by dissent,
contradictions, illiteracy & patriarchy, I view rape as a social
issue, as much as it is a legal problem.
It will be several months before we see the real effect of the new
law. As in other societies, judges will have an urge to convict as
many as possible , under the new law, to prove a point. This is a
pitfall we might want to avoid.
We need more forensic labs, extensive use of forensic science, and
above all, an independent investigation agency, and judicial system.
In the US, some minimum punishment is mandatory for some offenses.
The judge has no discretionary powers , should one be convicted. That
could be a deterrent - but I wonder if our lawmakers have included
such a provision.

from:  Mohan Narayanan
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 16:03 IST

at last ! how many women had to lose their life for this ?we should
build a memorial for all the women who lost their lives because the law
was not stong anough to save them'

from:  vvijaya
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 15:42 IST

"It has provisions for a minimum imprisonment of seven years which may
extend to imprisonment for natural life and a fine for rape convict if
he is found to be a police officer, a public servant, armed forces
personnel or management or hospital staff." good that there should not
be any immunity for this heinous crime perpetrators.

from:  lenin
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 15:13 IST
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