Delhi gangrape: Need effective law to protect women, says Chidambaram

P Chidambaram

Any person who inflicts injury that causes death of a victim in a sexual assault or leaves her in a persistent vegetative state shall face punishment up to death under the ordinance promulgated to tighten anti-rape laws.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee, also enhances punishment for sexual assault by a man on his wife during separation and such a crime will lead up to seven years of imprisonment.

"Whoever commits an offence punishable under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 376 (rape) and in the course of such commission, inflicts an injury which causes the death of the person or causes the person to be in a persistent vegetative state, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean the remainder of that person's natural life, or with death," the ordinance says.

Where a person is sexually assaulted by one or more persons constituting a group, each of those persons shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to life (imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life) and shall pay compensation to the victim.

The ordinance says whoever causes permanent or partial damage or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and with fine which may extend to 10 lakh rupees.

Repeat offenders of sexual assault by gang will be punished by imprisonment for life which shall mean the remainder of that person's natural life or with death.

For inflicting sexual assault to be prosecuted under Section 376 (rape), a person will be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of not less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life (reminder of his natural life) and fine.

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