Union Cabinet Approves Anti Rape Bill, Lowers Age of Consent to 16

Posted: March 15, 2013 in Current affairs

 Today the Union Cabinet of India has finally approved the highly discussed Anti-Rape bill to provide more safety to the women by making the punishment stricter for the serious crimes against them. On coming Monday the bill will be discussed with the leaders of all the leading parties of India.
Yesterday only a group of Ministers of India cleared the bill, which mainly proposes to lower the age of consent to 16 from the existing 18. The proposed bill clearly states that from now on the sustained stalking will be made a non bailable offence, which has become a necessary to curb the increasing stalking incidents around the women of India.
The bill also proposes a few more things like it will eventually make the first offence of voyeurism a bailable offence. Not only that the bill also says that no punishment for cases with false allegation against the women.
After the pathetic brutal Delhi Gang-rape of an innocent medical student on a moving bus, the Indian government has been working hard to amend some sort of strict laws to provide serious punishment for a range of crimes against the women of India. The main aim of the government is to provide the women more safety, as it has become the need of the moment for sure.
In recent times the women of India especially of Delhi can’t feel safe outside their house at night. The sudden rise of brutal incidents like rape, acid-attacks, stalking has been terrifying the freedom of the women. The government wants to change it by enacting some stricter punishment against these types of crimes.
After the Delhi Gang-rape incident, in which the brave innocent girl died a horrifying death, the whole India condemned the incident by protesting it. Meanwhile some celebrities had also joined the motion to strengthen the issue. They mainly demanded two things first to give the capital punishment to the entire criminal, and second to lower the age of consent to 16 from 18, as one of the accused was a juvenile of only 16 years of old.
It has to be mentioned here that the government cleared a series of laws through a special ordinance last month to send a clear message of its iron determination to better the safety scenario for women. That especial ordinance has to be approved by the Parliament before March 22 (its recess). If government failed to do so the ordinance would lapse on 4th April, 2013.
As a matter of fact the Indian Government has been criticized a lot for the delays of taking decisions on some of the cases. It has been accused in a wrong way in managing consensus among some of its veteran ministers. Eventually the Union Cabinet was divided on to two parts over the issue whether the bill would refer to the neutral-gender term of ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault’. Later it has come to conclusion and decided to address the other issue on a separate bill.
In fact lowering the age of consent has its own cons too, as some people are saying that it would encourage the child abuse in a big way. Some are saying that if 16 can be a punishable age, then why can’t it be a vote-able age?
Even the Krishna Tirath, who is child and women’s welfare minister, has opposed the enactment of the bill, but the others welcomed it by clearly stating that this will be able to prevent false cases of accusation of statutory rape, especially in the cases where the teenagers in the modern days have consensual sex, which is nothing new in the present scenario.

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