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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 03, 2013
The latest amendments to criminal laws for stringent anti-rape measures were passed as law on Wednesday as President Pranab Mukherjee give his assent to the bills, passed by both Houses of parliament last month.

The new law stipulates life-term for rapists and even provides for capital punishment in case the victim dies or is reduced to a permanent vegetative state due to the assault.

The gender-specific amendments, for the first time, also made stalking and voyeurism punishable offences.

While the ordinance was already in place, the UPA government raced against time to pass the bill in both Houses of parliament and managed to replace the ordinance with the new law within the deadline, that is Thursday.

The new law also makes it mandatory for all hospitals — public or private — to provide free treatment to victims of assault including acid attacks.

Mukherjee accorded his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 on Tuesday. The amendments were brought after outrage over the rape of the 23-year old woman.