The Union government on Thursday tabled in the Rajya Sabha the Criminal Law (amendment) Ordinance, 2013, that deals with crime against women and was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3. Through the Ordinance, the government has made amendments to the criminal laws by making rape laws more stringent, which includes death penalty in the rarest of rare cases. The government has also brought stalking and voyeurism under its purview besides enhancing jail terms for sexual assault cases.
The government will soon come out with a modified Bill that aims at modifying criminal laws by incorporating provisions in the Ordinance. The government has said it will table the revised Bill, which is before the Cabinet, in Parliament’s current session, as the Ordinance has a life of just six months.
Based mainly on the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee report, the Ordinance has provision for death penalty in cases of rape that leads to death of the victim or leaves her in a vegetative state.
It also replaces the word ‘rape’ with ‘sexual assault’ to expand the definition of all types of sexual crimes against women, though it has not touched the controversial issue of marital rape.