New law on child abuse to be tabled next session

Moily, who inaugurated the consultation by a cluster of NGOs led by ‘Tulir’ in Chennai, said that the Centre was keen to end the several anomalies in the existing laws that resulted in a very low conviction rate for sexual offences against children. The new law, however, cannot rise from vacuum and hence the draft bill was being discussed, he added. Calling for a holistic approach to the issue on hand to stop sexual abuses against children, Moily said children were at a disadvantage within the prevailing law as some of the definitions under existing criminal law, say rape, were inadequate.

There has to be a consensus on all the key definitions, the Minister stressed.

Moily, who placed a copy of the ‘second draft bill’ on this issue also told reporters that the Cabinet had approved the amendments to the appropriate law to end “honour killings by Khap Panchayats”.

The proposed changes to the law will also include steps to stop harassment of the couples in the name of “honour killings”, he said to a related query.

On the Tamil Nadu Government’s demand to make Tamil the court language of the Madras High Court Moily said his Ministry had already referred the matter to the Supreme Court and it was for the judiciary to take a view on that question.

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