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HC seeks Centre’s reply on plea against amendments in rape law

A plea by academician Madhu Purnima Kishwar and two of the accused facing trial has alleged that the amendments to the law relating to sexual offences is being abused in practice.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2017 21:26 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Rape law,Delhi high court,Government of India
The petitioners said the law had not been judiciously crafted and was misused widely and in most cases, complaints were lodged to take revenge.(HT File Photo)

The Delhi high court sought to know the Centre’s stand on Wednesday on a plea seeking to strike down the amendments made in the rape law after December 16 gangrape incident in the national capital.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar gave six weeks time to the ministry of law and justice to file an affidavit.

It fixed the public interest litigation (PIL) for further hearing on April 23 next year.

A plea by academician Madhu Purnima Kishwar and two of the accused facing trial has alleged that the amendments to the law relating to sexual offences is being abused in practice.

They have challenged the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, in which a penal provision -- minimum of seven years of jail term -- for a rape convict was included and the court’s discretion to award less than that was taken away.

It cited data of rape cases given by the Delhi Commission for Women after the amendment in 2013 and alleged that the law has been misused widely.

The petitioners said the law had not been judiciously crafted and was misused widely and in most cases, complaints were lodged to take revenge.

The PIL sought striking down of some of the provisions of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 which provides amendments to the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act and Code of Criminal Procedure on laws related to sexual offences.

The plea urged the court to summon the records from the National Crimes Records Bureau, Tihar Jail and the Centre to assess the profiling features of rape prosecution post the 2013 amendments.

It sought a direction to the authorities to reconsider the case in which a sentence of imprisonment has been passed post the amendments.

The gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on December 16, 2012 had led to a countrywide agitation. Following the protests, a committee under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge was constituted to suggest amendments to the criminal law to sternly deal with sexual assault cases.

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 21:25 IST