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Prez Pranab Mukherjee approves anti-rape ordinance

New Delhi, Feb 4 (): Approving the anti-rape law ordinance, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday has given his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013, said a spokesperson from the Home Ministry.

Based on the recommendations of the Justice JS Verma Committee, the ordinance was earlier cleared by the Union cabinet on Saturday confirming that rape which leads to death of the victim or leaving her in a vegetative state will result in death penalty.

Proposing to change the word ‘rape’ with ‘sexual assault’, Justice Verma Committee said that this would also facilitate to expand the definition of all types of sexual crimes against women.

According to a report, Justice Verma , the former Chief Justice of India was also assured by  Prime minister  Manmohan Singh saying that the government will not hesitate in following the recommendations of the committee he headed.

The ruling government had also expressed its eagerness by giving a green signal to the ordinance twenty days ahead of the Parliament’s budget session. However, bringing down the age of consent for sex from 18 to 16 years was excluded by the cabinet as well as the recommendation of making marital rape a criminal offence was also rejected.

Other crimes against women such as harassment, acid attacks, voyeurism, using abusive languages as well as ‘marital rape’ were also brought under the domain proposing enhanced punishment.

Meanwhile, expressing dissatisfaction with the proposal, women’s groups have planned a protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday against the ordinance and also requested the president not to sign it.

The ordinance also included vital recommendations of the Justice JS Verma panel bringing death penalty to rapists which was the dream of the country after the brutal rape and assault of the 23-year-old woman in the bus on the fateful day of December 16. The government is also planning to complete the procedure in the budget session.

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