The Justice Verma Committee suggested ways to make rape laws stronger in country and has submitted its report on 23 January 2013. The report suggesting amendment of criminal law to provide for higher punishment to rapists, including those belongings to police and public servant:
1. Every complaint of rape must be registered by the police and civil society.
2. It suggested that the punishment for rape should be rigorous imprisonment from 7 years of life.
3. Voyeurism, acid attacks is punished by imprisonment up to 7 years in jail.
4. Protocols for examination of rape victim for sexual abuse have been suggested.
5. Special procedure from protecting person with disability from rape and requisite procedures.
6. It suggests various measures for complete reformation of political and judicial system is equally responsible for it.
7. Thus, there is an urgent need to review the continuance of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and also recommends posting special commissioners for women’s safety in conflicting Areas.
It was approved by President of India on 2nd April 2013. The salient features are:
1. It provides stringent punishment for rapist and repeat offenders; it also includes offences such as stalking, voyeurism, disrobing and acid attacks.
2. The age of consent for sex has been fixed to 18 years.
3. It provides punishments for minimum 20 years or can be extended up to life imprisonment or death by hanging if the act causes death of victim or leaves her in permanent vegetative state. Repeat offenders may also get death penalty under the new law.
4. Act keeps rape as a gender-specific crime where only a male can be punished for committing such offence.
5. The first offence will be bailable or a second one is non- bailable.
6. The Act prescribed a punishment ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment if someone is involved in trafficking a minor and a jail term of 14 years that may be extended to life term if the offender is involved in trafficking of more than one minor.
7. For acid attack that caused harm to the victim, the offender will get a jail term of minimum 10 years, which can be extended to life term. An offender can attract a penalty of 5-7 years if attempted acid attacks.
8. No hospital whether the private or public can deny treatment to a rape victim. Treatment should be provided immediately and free of cost. Such denial could result into jail term of 1 year.
9. It provides punishments for minimum 7 years to life imprisonment for rape convict if he is found to be a police officer, a public servant, armed force personnel or management or hospital staff.
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