President™s Assent to Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 19th March, 2013 and by the Rajya Sabha on 21st March, 2013. The President of India has accorded his assent to the Bill on 2nd April, 2013 and it will now be called the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.
President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to this tougher anti-rape bill, which brings into force a new legislation which provides stringent punishment for rapists and repeat offenders and also makes provisions for stricter punishment for gender based offences like disrobing, stalking, acid attacks and voyeurism. The Presidential assent to this Bill came on Tuesday – just 2 days before the Ordinance of February 3rd on this issue was to lapse.
The new law provides for capital punishments for rapist who cause death for the victims or leaves the woman in a permanent vegetative state. There is a provision for repeat offenders also getting capital punishments under this new law. There are many sections under the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act that have been amended.
- Rape is gender-specific crime and only a man can be booked for committing such an offence. However, the age of consent is still kept at 18 in sync with the Ordinance.
- An offender can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a 2o year term, which may also get extended to life, or imprisonment for the rest of convict’s natural life and that too with a hefty fine.
- For the first time, the law has defined stalking and voyeurism as being non-bailable offences and if repeated for a second time.
- The punishment for trafficking a minor ranges from 10 years to life imprisonment
- A jail term of 14 years extendable to life imprisonment if involved in trafficking more than one minor.
- A jail term of 10 years extendable to life term for acid attacks – for involvement, it is five to seven years.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 : The document is available for download
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 : As pass by the Lok Sabha on 19th March 2013 :: The document is available for download