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Women's groups reject anti-rape law ordinance

New Delhi, Feb 3: Leading women organisations have rejected the ordinance on sexual crimes against women terming it as "complete betrayal" of people's faith in the government and urged President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign

PTI PTI Updated on: February 03, 2013 9:47 IST

The Union Cabinet on Friday  cleared an ordinance providing for tough punishment including death sentence if a rape victim dies or is left in vegetative state.

Krishnan said women groups will hold protest on Monday to oppose the government action.

"The government acted stealthily, passing the ordinance without sharing it with the public and without debating and discussing it," Krishnan said.

The group representing these organisations said, "The present piecemeal and fragmented ordinance can only serve to sabotage the intention of providing recourse to victims of violence. Some significant amendments concerning culpability of the state, punishment to officers, including those with command responsibility, the issue of bringing the army personnel under the jurisdiction of criminal law, have been excluded from the ordinance."

Among the organisations represented were Centre for Women's Development Studies, Joint Women's Programme, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, Muslim Women's Forum and Young Women's Christian Association of India, All India Democratic Women's Association, Guild of Service and National Federation Of Indian Women.

The ordinance, based on recommendations of Justice J S Verma Committee and going beyond, proposes to replace the word 'rape' with 'sexual assault' to expand the definition of all types sexual crimes against women.

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