Consensus on Anti-rape Bill: Will GoM be able to please all?

Protests against rape
New Delhi, March 13: After the much-awaited anti-rape bill was deferred over differences within cabinet, government on Tuesday has referred it to an informal Group of Ministers (GoM) to find an amicable solution.

But, time is short for GoM, as they have to come up with an all pleasing solution to break the deadlock on the bill within a short span of time.

Now, the government is left with only 10 days to ensure the passage of the bill in the Parliament. Otherwise, the February 3 ordinance will be lapsed.

Sources say cabinet members could not reach a consensus on contentious issues like voyeurism, stalking, age of consent (from 18 to 16) and the definition of term rape or sexual assault.

"There is need to make the law civil, so that it's not used for corruption. We will bring this law before March 22 in this Budget session itself," said Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.

The GoM headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram is all set to finalise the bill for cabinet approval on Wednesday.

Sources say that the bill is likely to stick to the reduction of age from 18 to 16 for consensual sex. GoM will also stick to the women centric word rape instead of sexual assault. The criminal law amendment bill will be considered afresh by the Cabinet on Thursday and then placed before an all-party meeting called for March 18.

The need for a strong bill to curb crime against women emerged in the wake of brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in the national capital on December 16, 2012.

OneIndia News

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