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Govt proposes to lower age for consensual sex

March 05, 2013 21:58 IST

The government has proposed to lower the age for consensual sex from 18 to 16 and reintroduce the word 'rape' instead of 'sexual assault' in the new criminal law amendment bill.

The draft of the bill has been readied by the government to replace the recently-promulgated criminal law amendment ordinance.

Official sources said the Union Cabinet is expected to discuss the draft of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 in its next meeting.

The word or concept of 'rape' is understood to have been reintroduced instead of 'sexual assault' with a much wider definition as per the recommendation of the Verma Commission, sources said.

Like the ordinance, the age for consensual sex has been lowered from 18 to 16 but there is no marital rape.

The proposed bill is incorporating most of the clauses which are part of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 promulgated on February 3 following the recommendations of the Justice J S Verma Commission, constituted in the wake of December 16 gang rape in Delhi.

The shield given to the security personnel involved in crime against women in disturbed areas under the controversial AFSPA continue to remain, sources said.

Hospitals, nursing homes, private or public medical care centres will have to provide treatment to women victims and failure to do so will be punishable under law.

It also proposes enhanced punishment for other crimes against women like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures like words and inappropriate touch.

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

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