Will support anti-rape bill: Mayawati

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 15, 2013 16:43 hrs

New Delhi, Mar 15 (IBNS) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Friday said her party will support the anti-rape bill that was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Thursday.

"We will support the bill in whatever form it is tabled...We will not oppose it," the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister told media.

Aiming to provide tough punishment for crimes against women, the Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill with recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM).

Political leaders will now discuss the bill during the upcoming all-party meet on Mar 18.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) working on a draft of an anti-rape bill on Wednesday finally agreed on the handful of contentious provisions that have been stalling the law.

Meeting under a 24-hour deadline on Wednesday, the panel, headed by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram agreed to reduce the age of consent for sex from 18 to 16.

Flaying the law enforcers and calling for police reforms, the Justice Verma Committee tasked by the government to suggest stringent laws against sexual violence submitted its "path-breaking" recommendations on Jan 23 to the Home Ministry, calling for enhancement of punishment to life sentence for the crime while stopping short of awarding death penalty.

The three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma submitted its report to the government a month after it was formed following a national outrage over the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student on a Delhi bus on Dec 16 and her subsequent death from injuries.

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