“The President of India has accorded his assent to the Bill on April 2 (Tuesday) and it will now be called the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013,” said a statement by the union home ministry on Wednesday.
The bill incorporates suggestions of the Justice JS Verma Committee, formed after the brutal Delhi gang-rape of Dec 16 last year, to make anti-rape laws stronger.
It provides for rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment, to those convicted for the offence of gang-rape, and also defines and prescribes punishment for stalking, voyeurism and sexual harassment.
The key points
>> The law maintains death as the maximum penalty in case of rape where the victims dies or slips into a coma.
>> It also defines stalking and voyeurism with punishments up to seven years.
>> The minimum age under law for consensual sex has been retained at 18.
>> It also provides for imprisonment of at least 10 years for causing permanent damage to a woman by throwing acid.
>> The law considers attempts to disrobe a woman in private a crime.
>> The law includes a provision which makes it mandatory for all hospitals to provide medical treatment to rape victims, failing which hospitals could face up to one year of imprisonment and fine.