Rajya Sabha takes up anti-rape bill

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Thursday moved a bill in the Rajya Sabha to provide more teeth to India’s anti-rape laws, two days after it was passed by the Lok Sabha.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 also makes voyeurism and stalking punishable offences.
Moving the bill, Shinde said the rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old woman shook the conscience of the whole nation. There was a demand for making anti-rape laws stronger after the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape and brutal assault of the woman in New Delhi, who later died.
“The braveheart… fought for her dignity. We can at least honour her by passing this bill soon,” Shinde said.
A resolution for disapproving the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, which was passed by the government in February was meanwhile presented by Communist Party of India leader D. Raja.
The ordinance would be replaced with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 once it is passed in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier Tuesday, the Lok Sabha passed the anti-rape bill which keeps 18 as the age for consensual sex and makes voyeurism and stalking punishable offences.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was tabled in the house by Shinde a day after the cabinet approved its draft. The house debated it during the day. However, only around 200 members were present in the house when the bill came up for voting.