Cabinet defers anti-rape law bill, refers it to Group of Ministers
New Delhi, Mar 12 : The Union Cabinet on Tuesday deferred its decision on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, which proposes a life term to those found guilty of committing rape crimes.
According to reports, the Union Cabinet deferred the decision due to lack of unanimity over the proposed anti-rape ordinance and referred it to a Group of Ministers (GoM) for further consideration.
The anti-rape ordinance will be brought before the Union Cabinet only after the GoM holds a discussion and proposes changes to it.
Despite differences in the government over the bill, the UPA Government is committed to introducing the bill in the current budget session of parliament.
Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath told media outside parliament that the anti-rape law will be passed, but after some more deliberation.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told media here yesterday that the Bill would replace the ordinance that had been promulgated by the government last month with this objective in mind.
Shinde said there were no differences on the provisions in the new Bill.
The Bill introduces a death penalty for rapists in cases where the victim dies as a result of rape or is left in a persistent vegetative state. Gang-rape is to be punished by 20 years in prison, extendable up to life in prison. Similar punishment is provided for repeat offenders as well.
It maybe recalled that the Centre had constituted the Justice Verma Committee to recommend changes in the laws that deal with crimes against women in wake of nationwide protest against the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012.