Anti-Rape Bill: GoM wants age of consent for sex slashed from 18 to 16 yrs
Working speedily, the GoM completed its task in the second meeting, paving the way for consideration of the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill by the Union Cabinet tomorrow.
The age of consent for sex was one of the highly contentious provisions in the Bill, because of which it was referred by the Cabinet to the GoM yesterday.
“We have gone through every provision of the proposed Bill and all issues have been resolved. Now the matter will go to Cabinet tomorrow and hopefully it will be passed tomorrow,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters.
At today's GoM meeting, there was consensus on lowering the age from 18 to 16 years, subject to approval by Parliament.
Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath had been opposing any move to lower the age of consent.
The GoM, chaired by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, also recommended that sustained stalking be made a non-bailable offence while first offence of voyeurism could be a bailable offence, sources said.
Repeat offences of voyeurism, inappropriate touch, gesture and remarks have been recommended as non-bailable offences, they said.
The GoM also decided to retain the term 'rape' in the Bill and treat it gender-specific, instead of the proposal to make it gender-neutral.
Provisions seeking strong action against those filing false complaints were dropped from the draft Bill, the sources said adding that