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Anti-rape Bill in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, House to decide age of consent

CNN-IBN
Mar 18, 2013 at 05:32pm IST

New Delhi: The Centre will bring the anti-rape Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday after most of the parties voiced their opinion against lowering the age of consent for sex from 18 years to 16. The decision on the age of consent for sex will be taken in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the anti-rape Bill.

If a male above the age of 18 years has sexual intercourse with a girl lower than 16, it will be considered as rape and if a male lower than 18 years has sexual encounter, he will be charged with one time probation, said sources. The sources added that consenting sex between 16 to 18 years will constitute rape. The clause on voyeurism will be diluted while the clause on stalking, which is non-bailable in the proposed Bill, is likely to be amended too.

Sources say that at the all-party meeting while the CPI sought 18 as the age of consent, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav vehemently opposed the anti-rape Bill even as the Trinamool Congress pressed for wider consultations with the states. The BJP is open to minor tweaking and retaining the consent age at 18

"TMC is in favour of a strong bill. Since the state governments are implementing authorities, state governments should be brought on board and their opinions must be taken as well," said Trinamool MP Sudip Bandhopadhyay.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) are uncomfortable with clauses dealing with voyeurism and stalking while Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has come out in support of the the Bill.

Since the Bill requires a simple majority for passing, it will sail through in Lok Sabha, but the problem comes up in the Lok Sabha.

The protests after the December 16 Delhi gangrape case had united those on the streets and the political class as well. Cutting across party lines, politicians had called for a strong anti-rape law.

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