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Cabinet Clears Ordinance for Death Penalty if Rape Victim Dies

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TNI Bureau: The Union Cabinet approved the Ordinance yesterday for death penalty if the rape victim dies and imprisonment up to 20 years for rape in order to deal with crime against women effectively.

In the backdrop of the gangrape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi in December 2012, the ordinance entails changes in the criminal law by amending Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Evidence Act.

The ordinance for amending the criminal law based on the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee report.

The panel had recommended enhanced punishment of imprisonment up to 20 years for rape and life term for gangrape and murder.

It had also suggested that crimes like stalking, disrobing a woman and voyeurism be treated as new offences with stringent punishment. The committee had also recommended broadening the definition of rape.

In a bid to make the law women friendly, the ordinance suggests that only a woman police officer will take the statement of the victim of the sexual crime.

The ordinance, however, says that if a person facing acid attack kills the accused in the process of self-defence, then she will be protected under the ‘right to self defence’. Nevertheless, compensation for acid attack victims “adequate to meet at least the medical expenses incurred” by her has not been accepted by the government.

Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar says, the Ordinance is the most progressive legislation in consistent with the sensitivities of the nation.

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