Paying regards to boiling public sentiments, the President has given his approval to the anti- rape bill that calls for stringent punishments for heinous crimes as rape. Life term has been suggested in rape cases with even death sentences being suggested in rarest of rare cases. Stringent punishments are in the offering for crimes as stalking and acid attacks.
The assent was granted to the Criminal law Bill 2013. The bill has come in the wake of brutal gang rape incident in New Delhi that dented the image of India on international platform too. The law was originally passed by Lok Sabha on March 19th with the Rajya Sabha according its permission on March 21.
The new law states that the offender could be sentenced for a minimal of 20 years and the same can be extended for life. This essentially means that the person committing the crime could end up spending their entire life behind bars.
In case a person has been convicted for the crime on a previous occasion too, a death sentence could be handed out to the offender. The law has stringent provisions for crimes as stalking and voyeurism. In case, a person is convinced for the same for the second time for this crime, he could end up spending up to 10 years behind bars.
Acid attacks will attract up to 10 years jail term. The age for consensual sex has been fixed at 18. There was a political storm last month as Government had suggested lowering the age for consensual sex to 16. However, bowing to the protests from opposition parties and social organization, the Government had to revise the age for the same to 18 years.
Some new sections for crimes as stalking attracting a prison term of 10 years were introduced after women organizations advocated for the same with much vigour.
The need of introduction of stringent provisions for crimes as rapes has been necessitated by the increasing crime rate against women in various parts of the country. Despite the authorities taking remedial measures to check the spread of heinous crimes against women after the Delhi gang rape, nothing much has improved on ground.
Each day some incident relating to crime against women are reported from various cities of India. The profile of the attackers might be distinct in some of the cases but a disturbing truth is that women of all age group and varying profile are at risk.
The passing of Anti Rape bill is set to act as a deterrent to those with criminal bend of mind. Some countries in Middle East have stringent provisions for such crimes and the offenders are given death sentences in the first instance. It is hoped that this bill will bring a change in the mindset of those who think to commit such a crime. Out of fear of law, they will restrain themselves from thinking of committing acts as rape and acid attacks.
Meanwhile, as the law stands passed it is still a debatable topic as to how much secure our women are.