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Changes in rape laws under consideration: Law minister

delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2009 20:15 IST

The Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said on Thursday that the government has received suggestions from various groups, including the National Commission for Women, for changes in laws for rape and homosexual sex.

The Law Commission of India in its 172nd report has recommended changes for widening scope of section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and to make it gender neutral, the minister said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The commission has also recommended for insertion of a new Section 376 E in the IPC to deal with "unlawful sexual contact", Moily added.

The commission has recommended deletion of Section 377 (carnal intercourse against the order of nature) of the IPC and enhancement of punishment in Section 509 (act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC, he said.

"Various other changes have been recommended in Section 376 (punishment for rape) and 376 A (intercourse by a man with his wife during separation) to 376 D (intercourse by any member of the management or staff of hospital with any woman in that hospital) of IPC," the minister said.

The commission has also recommended changes in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

"The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008, contains a proposal regarding payment of compensation and rehabilitation of victims including those of rape," Moily stated.