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President gives assent to anti-rape bill

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the anti-rape bill, providing enhanced punishment for rape, making stalking and voyeurism criminal offences and fixing the age of consent for sex at 18.

‘The President of India has accorded his assent to the Bill on 2 April (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 was passed by the Lok Sabha 19 March, and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March.

The bill incorporates suggestions of the Justice J S Verma Committee, formed after the brutal Delhi gang-rape of 16 December 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.
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