Coming soon, Bill widening definition of sexual abuse | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Coming soon, Bill widening definition of sexual abuse

The Government is working on to replace the word "rape" from Indian Penal Code with "sexual assault" to broaden the ambit of crimes covered under the sections and make the provisions gender-neutral.

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2010 01:23 IST
Aloke Tikku

The government on Monday introduced in Parliament a proposal to reform criminal law and promised to bring another one to plug loopholes that allow sexual offenders get away lightly.

Government officials said the draft sexual assault legislation was going to be finalised within the
next 10 days and would be put up for public response.

This law would expand the definition of rape to take into account forms of sexual assault not covered in the Indian Penal Code.

A government-commissioned workshop last week had decided there was a need for a paradigm shift in the approach to this issue by looking at sexual assault from the woman’s perspective and as a violation of her dignity, physical integrity and sexual autonomy.

The proposed Bill also recognises ‘marital’ rape as an offence and incorporates a specific provision on sexual assault by a relative or a person in position of trust or authority or in a position of social, economic or political dominance, the official said.

Earlier in the day, Home Minister P Chidambaram introduced a bill to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure in the Lok Sabha to implement reforms in the arrest law that is aimed at putting an end to unnecessary arrests of suspects for crimes punishable with less than seven years jail term.

Orissa name change

Chidambaram also introduced a bill to change the name of Orissa to Odisha and a constitutional amendment bill to change the name of the state’s language from Oriya in the Eighth Schedle to Odia.