Anti-rape law draws bouquets and brickbats

The proposed anti-rape law has drawn mixed reaction from the political parties with the main Opposition likely to help the government in the passage of the legislation and Samajwadi Party (SP), an outside supporter of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), opposing when it comes to Parliament.

Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not yet officially made its stand clear, sources in the party said the principal Opposition party wants the proposed law to be passed before the ordinance lapses on April 4.

Several leaders in the BJP, however, have reservations to the provision in the proposed law that seeks to lower the age of consent for sex from 18 to 16 years.

“We will help the government in the passage of the law. Several sections in the party have reservation to the clause relating to lowering of age for consent. This clause (stipulating the lowering of the age of consent) can be sent to the (parliamentary) standing committee,” sources in the party said, giving hints that the principal Opposition party will support the bill in Parliament.

BJPs Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, however, remained tight-lipped over his party’s stand on the proposed legislation. “After the all-party meeting our leaders will tell you (media),” he said.

The government has convened an all-party meeting to evolve a consensus on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 on March 18.

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