The government will soon make molestation a non-bailable offence, increasing the maximum imprisonment for the crime from two to five years.
The draft Sexual Offences (Special Courts) Bill, 2010 — prepared by the law ministry — and currently awaiting the home ministry assent, also defines what constitutes molestation much more sharply than at present.
It proposes allowing the police to arrest a person accused of the crime without a warrant. A simple complaint from the victim will be enough.
“Tough measures are required to deter sexual offences against women,” Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily told Hindustan Times. “Following the shocking Ruchika case, it is clear that molestation needs to be treated as a serious sexual offence as rape.”
The bill seeks to modify relevant sections of both the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.