Rajya Sabha clears anti-rape bill
New Delhi, Mar 21 : Two days after the anti-rape law bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha passed it on Thursday.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde earlier in the day moved the bill in the upper house of the Parliament.
The lower house of the Parliament on Tuesday passed the anti-rape law bill calling for tougher punishment for sexual offences on women
The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill also provides for the death penalty for extreme cases of rape while the jail term for other rapes was made 20 years.
Crimes like acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism and the trafficking of women were made punishable under criminal law.
While the age of consent for consensual sex was a sticking point between various groups till the ruling party accepted the opposition argument for keeping it at 18, Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar earlier this week said the government would incorporate the suggestions of the other parties and opposition and bring the bill for passage.
An all-party meeting on Monday agreed to keep the age of consent at 18 for consensual sex.
Last week, the Group of Ministers (GoM) working on a draft of an anti-rape bill had agreed on the handful of contentious provisions that have been stalling the law.
Flaying the law enforcers and calling for police reforms, the Justice Verma Committee tasked by the government to suggest stringent laws against sexual violence submitted its "path-breaking" recommendations on Jan 23 to the Home Ministry, calling for enhancement of punishment to life sentence for the crime while stopping short of awarding death penalty.
The three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma submitted its report to the government a month after it was formed following a national outrage over the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student on a Delhi bus on Dec 16 and her subsequent death from injuries.