Parliamentary nod for anti-rape ordinance by March 22: Kamal Nath

Parliamentary nod for anti-rape ordinance by March 22: Kamal Nath

The UPA government is committed to getting the parliamentary nod for the anti-rape ordinance by March 22, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said Thursday.

"We are committed to passing the anti-rape ordinance in the parliament by March 22 under any circumstances... there will be a special cabinet meeting (for the purpose) shortly," Kamal Nath told reporters.

The ordinance, which was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee Feb 3, has to be approved by parliament within six weeks from the date of its promulgation. The first half of the ongoing budget session ends March 22 and the house will reconvene only on April 22.

The ordinance proposes death in rarest of rare cases of rape and for repeat offenders while keeping marital rape out of its ambit.

According to informed sources, the government, which had replaced the word "rape" with "sexual assault" to make such crimes gender-neutral, is again considering going back to the original word.

The issues have been in sharp focus after the brutal assault and gang rape of a Delhi woman on Dec 16, 2012. She later succumbed to her injuries in Singapore.

The ordinance was framed by the government to show its intention to treat the issue of crimes against women with urgency and incorporated suggestions of the Justice J.S. Verma panel formed to give views to make anti-rape laws more strong.

The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs has also endorsed the punishment.