President gives assent to anti-rape bill

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the anti-rape bill, providing enhanced punishment for rape, making stalking and voyeurism criminal offences and fixing the age of consent for sex at 18.

“The President of India has accorded his assent to the Bill on April 2 (Tuesday) and it will now be called the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013,” said a statement by the union home ministry Wednesday.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha March 19, and by the Rajya Sabha March 21.

The bill incorporates suggestions of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, formed after the brutal Delhi gang-rape of Dec 16 last year, to make anti-rape laws stronger.

It provides for rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment, to those convicted for the offence of gang-rape, and also defines and prescribes punishment for stalking, voyeurism and sexual harassment.

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