Bill fixing 16 yrs as consent age for sex in Budget session

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) A bill fixing 16 years as theage of consent for sex is among other proposed legislationsslated for introduction in Parliament during the currentBudget session.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Billwhich seeks to bring sexual offences against children underlegal purview for the first time and award harsh punishment tooffenders, will be tabled during the session which begantoday.

Earlier reports that the proposed bill would legaliseconsensual sexual relations between 12-year olds, hadgenerated a lot of hue and cry.

But the Women and Child Development Ministry was quickto clarify that the draft of the bill does not talk aboutlegally permitting 12-year-old children to havenon-penetrative sex and instead fixes the age of consent at 16years and above.

Ministry sources said the bill might be introduced inthe second half of the session as it was yet to be cleared bythe Cabinet.

Another proposed legislation to be introduced thissession seeks to prohibit indecent representation of womenthrough advertisements or in publications, writings orpaintings.

The Women''s Reservation Bill is also among the 31bills to be brought for consideration and passage during thethree-month session.

The bill, already passed by Rajya Sabha, seeks toprovide one third reservation to women in the Lok Sabha andthe state assemblies.

In her address to the joint session of Parliamenttoday, President Pratibha Patil expressed the hope that thewomen''s bill would be considered by the Lok Sabha at theearliest.

However, the Protection of Women against SexualHarassment at Workplace Bill was still under the scrutiny ofParliament''s Standing Committee on Women.

The bill, introduced in the last session, seeks toensure a safe environment for women at work places, both inpublic and private sectors whether organised or unorganised.

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