All-party meeting on anti-rape bill ends inconclusively
New Delhi, Mar 18 : An all-party meet on the anti-rape bill, which seeks to provide stricter punishment for crimes against women, has ended inconclusively.
The meeting is slated to take place once again at 12:30 pm.
"There is general consensus, reservations have been expressed on implementation of law, age of consent. All issues will be sorted out in the next session of the meeting," Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told media after the meet.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which proposes to lower the age of consent from 18 years to 16 years, was cleared by the Cabinet on Thursday.
The Samajwadi Party, which extends outside support to the Congress-led UPA, has raised objections against the provisions relating to stalking and lowering age of consent.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which says it wants the bill to be passed at the earliest, also has certain reservations.
The bill, brought against the backdrop of the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape, provides for minimum jail term of 20 years for rape which may be extended to ''natural life'' of the convict in jail.
There is also provision for death sentence if the victim dies or is left in a ''persistent vegetative state''.
The bill had divided the Cabinet at its special meeting on Tuesday and was referred to a Group of Ministers (GoM) to sort out differences on various aspects of the proposed law.
The GoM finalised the draft on Wednesday amidst the government's keenness to expedite the bill that will replace an ordinance promulgated on February 3.
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.