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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

All-party meet to decide on anti-rape law today

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 17, 2013
First Published: 23:11 IST(17/3/2013) | Last Updated: 11:41 IST(18/3/2013)

The outcome of Monday's all-party meeting will determine the fate of its bill to amend criminal laws aimed at effectively countering sexual violence against women.

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The government is racing against time and it has merely four working days to get the criminal laws (amendment) bill passed in both Houses of parliament, failing which its much hyped anti-rape ordinance will cease to be a law.

Though last week the government managed to overcome its internal differences in the cabinet on the issues restoring the gender-specific term of rape in IPC instead of sexual assault and agreed to fix the age of consent for sex at 16 years, the divide within appears to have given a handle to other parties opposed to the bill in one form or the other.

Though Congress and its allies within the UPA strongly support the bill, but the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, both of whom extend outside support to the government, are opposed to various provisions of the bill.

The main opposition BJP, which is largely in support of the bill, has problems with fixing the age of consent at 16 years, which it wants to be raised to 18 years. Many parties will back the BJP's stand on this issue.

UPA government's immediate problem is to avoid the possible embarrassment it might face if the bill is not passed in both houses till Friday, when the parliament goes into a month-long recess during the ongoing budget session.


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