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Government may not wait till Budget Session to amend anti-rape laws


Pallavi Ghosh,CNN-IBN
Jan 31, 2013 at 01:20pm IST

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to Justice JS Verma promising to act on his panel's suggestions to strengthen laws on crimes against women, sources on Thursday said that the Cabinet is discussing the ordinance on the panel recommendations.

The Cabinet may not wait till the Budget Session to amend anti-rape laws, added the sources. The Budget Session begins from February 21. Sources also said that the government is expecting support across the party lines for the ordinance.

Sources also added that UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister himself are keen on bringing the ordinance.

The Prime Minister lauded Justice Verma, Leila Seth and Gopal Subramanian for completing the report in 30 days and appreciated their commitment and concern for public good. "I thank you, Justice Leila Seth and Shri Gopal Subramanian for your labour of love in completing the work. That the Committee submitted its report within a short period of 30 days is testimony to your commitment and concern for public good. I assure you that we will be prompt in pursuing the recommendations of the committee," the Prime Minister wrote in the letter.

The Verma Committee has recommended enhancing punishment to upto 20 years imprisonment for rape and murder and life term for gang rape but refrained from suggesting death penalty to the guilty. In its 630-page report submitted to the government on January 23, the Committee suggested various amendments to the criminal laws to provide for higher punishment to rapists, including those belonging to police and public servants.

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