NEW DELHI: The Indian government has passed the new Criminal Law Amendment Bill lowering the age for consensual sex from 18 to 16.
The word or concept of ‘rape’ is understood to have been reintroduced instead of ‘sexual assault’ with a much wider definition as per the recommendation of the Verma Commission, sources said.
Like the ordinance, the age for consensual sex has been lowered from 18 to 16 but there is no marital rape.
The proposed bill is incorporating most of the clauses which are part of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 promulgated on February 3 following the recommendations of the Justice J S Verma Commission, constituted in the wake of December 16 gangrape in Delhi.
Hospitals, nursing homes, private or public medical care centres will have to provide treatment to women victims and failure to do so will be punishable under law.
It also proposes enhanced punishment for other crimes against women like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures like words and inappropriate touch.
According to the bill, only a woman police officer will take the statement of the victim of the sexual crime.