Friday, February 1, 2013

Ordinance moots death in rape victim dies or slips into coma

The ordinance, designed to change the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, and set to be promulgated shortly, has accepted Justice Verma committee's recommendation to treat voyeurism, stalking, disrobing of women and acid attacks as specific offences under the Indian Penal Code.

Shaken by the Nirbhaya case, the government on Friday approved a law prescribing death penalty for cases of rape which lead to the victim's death or her slipping into persistent vegetative state, going beyond the recommendations of the Justice JS Verma committee.

An ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet seeks to treat rapes resulting in death of the victim or causing her to be in a persistent vegetative state as a crime belonging to the "rarest-of-rare" category for which courts can award death punishment if they so decide. For such cases, the ordinance proposes a minimum sentence of 20 years which can be extended to imprisonment until the natural life of the convict, or death.

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