The Parliament on Thursday passed the anti-rape bill providing natural life term or even death for repeat offenders of rape, with Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde stating the "law will impact the society for years to come".
Terming it as a "unique law", he said the government is open to further improvement if there is such a need.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 commonly known as the anti-rape bill was passed by Rajya Sabha after amendments moved by Left MPs were defeated. The Lok Sabha had passed the legislation on March 19.
Replying to queries, Shinde said the purpose of the bill is to provide stringent punishment also for offences like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks and human trafficking.
"The bill is significant as it aims to protect mothers and sisters of this country. Over years, such stringent law has not been made," he noted.
On whether influential people would be covered under the law, the minister said, "Those in authority who abuse and influence victims...politicians and all financially influential persons are covered under section 367 of the law."
The bill seeks to replace an Ordinance promulgated on February 3, which will expire on April 4. It seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
On human trafficking of minor girls, the minister said the government has taken cognisance of this offence and certain sections have been incorporated to give stringent punishment. "Police officers and executive officers involved in such offence will also be punished under the law," he said.