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Anti-rape Bill to be tabled in RS after LS passes diluted version

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Mar 20, 2013 at 10:25am IST

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New Delhi: After being passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the anti-rape bill will now be taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Bill was passed in the Lower House after much drama with major amendments being negated. Two amendments, seeking life term for trafficking of children and life imprisonment for acid attack, were defeated.

Spontaneous mass protests after Delhi gangrape had forced the political class out of slumber and after much debate and many rounds of consultations, the anti-rape Bill which among other things stipulates rigourous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years and which may extend to imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life is cleared by the Lok Sabha.

But not before a four hour debate brought socio-political schisms to the fore. The Bill in its modified avatar has dealt with most of the contentious issues. The age of consensual sex has been maintained at 18 years and first offence of stalking and voyeurism has been made bailable.

Some MPs though through amendments tried to seek stringent provisions on the offenders. The House though stuck to the agenda finalised in the all-party meet and negated all the proposed amendments.

It seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The Bill was passed after all amendments moved by opposition and one by UPA constituent NCP for a life-term for perpetrators of acid attacks were defeated.

Finally the Bill was passed by a voice vote with less the 200 out of 540 MPs present in the Lok Sabha. The bill is to be taken up in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and once passed by the Upper House it will become the law of the land.

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