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Govt may bring back the word 'rape' in new Bill, may ignore marital rape again


Pallavi Ghosh,CNN-IBN
Mar 06, 2013 at 08:50am IST

New Delhi: The Cabinet is likely to finalise tough new laws on crimes against women with a new Criminal Law Amendment Bill this Thursday. Sources have told CNN-IBN that the age of consent for sex is likely to be reduced from 18 to 16 as suggested by the Justice Verma panel.

The new anti-rape law note also brings back the word rape with its wider definition, instead of sexual assault in keeping with the panel's recommendations. But despite the Justice Verma panel's recommendation, it will not include marital rape and will not include under its ambit those in the armed forces accused of rape and so, it doesn't deal with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

Sources say if the victim is left in a critical condition like coma, the crime will be treated as rarest of rare cases. Sources also add that acid attacks and stalking will be considered sexual crimes.

Also, hospitals, nursing homes, private or public medical care centres will have to provide treatment to women victims and failure to do so will be punishable under law. In a bid to make the law women friendly, the draft bill suggests that only a woman police officer will take the statement of the victim of the sexual crime.

The said changes incorporate suggestions of the Parliamentary panel and the anti-rape ordinance.

The draft of the bill has been readied by the government to replace the recently-promulgated criminal law amendment ordinance. Once approved by the Cabinet, the bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament next week.

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