Verma panel recommends sweeping changes in laws, tougher penalties


Contrary to the government calling "rape" as "sexual assault" in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012, the committee said that under the proposed amendment, rape will be defined as rape and not sexual assault. It also recommended amending section 376 to include 376 (1) which says punishment for rape will range from seven years to life imprisonment. A new section 376 (3) has been proposed to punish death caused while committing rape and where the punishment may vary between 20 years to entire life in prison.

Another new section, 376 B, defining and punishing rape of an underage person shall be added where punishment shall not be less than 10 years and can be extended to life imprisonment. Gangrape shall be defined and punished by a new section, 376 C, where punishment can be 20 years and extend to life imprisonment, the committee said.

A new crime of gangrape causing death or vegetative state shall be added under section 376 D, where the punishment of entire life in jail is suggested. For repeat rapists, a new section 376 E suggests punishment of entire life in jail.

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