Cabinet approves ordinance on anti-rape law

February 02, 2013 - 2:57:42 am

New Delhi: The federal cabinet yesterday approved an ordinance for enhanced punishment in cases of crimes against women, including sexual assault, acid attacks, voyeurism and trafficking, as suggested by the Justice J S Verma Committee.

Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said the government had recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee that an ordinance be issued. 

He said the government had made a commitment to enact a stringent law on crimes against women and had kept its word. 

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said the ordinance will have original provisions of the criminal law amendment bill and recommendations of Justice Verma panel. 

“The UPA government has responded to sensitivities of people by acting with utmost expedition,” he said, adding the provisions of the ordinance were aimed at enhancing sense of security and protection of “our mothers and sisters” and other citizens. 

“It is one of the more progressive legislations. Hopefully, it will be effective. The speed with which UPA acted in the matter validated our assurance,” he said. 

Sources said that the ordinance will be replaced by a law in the budget session of parliament expected to start in the second half of February. The criminal law amendment bill is currently being examined by the standing committee of home ministry. 

The sources said the ordinance deals with crimes against women and the term of punishment for those accused of grave crime against women would be enhanced.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday assured Justice Verma, a former chief justice of India, that the government would be prompt in pursuing the recommendations of the committee he headed. 

The Verma Committee, set up by the government on December 23 to review laws to provide speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault, submitted its report to the government January 23.