Lok Sabha passes Anti-rape Bill
The Lok Sabha cleared the anti-rape bill on Tuesday evening with major amendments to stop rape and other sexual crimes against women. The bill will be introduced in Rajya Sabha today. Once passed by the members in Upper House, the draft will become the law.
However, most of the MPs were missing in the lower house when the vote took place yesterday evening. Even Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul were among the members were not present in the House during the debate on the bill.
The anti-rape bill recommends death penalty for extreme cases of rape/gangrape and 20 years of imprisonment for other rape cases. Criminals will be punished for acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism and women trafficking. The convict in acid attack will be sentenced to 10 years in prison. The age of consent remained unchanged at 18 after objections raised by various party members at two rounds of all-party meeting held on Monday.
The BJP supported the bill, while Sharad Yadav argued that punishment for stalking and voyeurism could result in false cases against men. The Bill was passed by a voice vote with less the 200 out of 540 MPs present in the Lok Sabha.
It can be noted that JS Verma Commission had not recommended the death penalty for heinous rapes. The Committee had recommended marital rape to be considered as a criminal offence and hence the culprit should be punished under criminal law. However, the government rejected the proposal while preparing the draft.