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Rape law changes on Cabinet agenda today

Redefining rape means sexual assaults on men as well as minors,irrespective of their sex,can be dealt with under the same law.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
July 19, 2012 12:47:18 am

To make laws against sexual assault more stringent,the Cabinet will on Thursday consider proposals to make definition of rape gender-neutral and to enhance punishment for acid attacks.

And,in the backdrop of cases of sexual assault in children’s homes coming to light,the Cabinet will also propose to make harsher the punishment for such offences committed by persons in positions of authority — from a minimum of 10 years in jail to life imprisonment. Such acts are proposed to be classified as “aggravated sexual assault”.

Redefining rape means sexual assaults on men as well as minors,irrespective of their sex,can be dealt with under the same law. The changes in the law were drafted by the Women and Child Development Ministry in 2011. The changes propose to punish such acts with 10 years in jail and treat acid attacks with the intent of disfiguring as a form of sexual assault,punishable with five to seven years in prison.

Sources said some in the government believe stricter laws are required to deal with the menace of acid attacks on women and others victims in several parts of the country.

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Changes in anti-terror law may be discussed

The Cabinet is also likely to discuss amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that make money laundering and terror financing ‘terrorist acts’ punishable with an imprisonment of up to five years.

The amendments seek to widen the definition of ‘terrorist activities’ by including provisions related to nuclear,chemical or biological attacks. Production and circulation of fake Indian currency notes,which is considered a major source of financing terrorism,would also be declared unlawful through these amendments.

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