Cabinet to discuss ordinance on strong anti-rape laws

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) The union cabinet is likely to discuss the Justice Verma panel report on changes required in laws to curb crimes against women, government sources said here Friday.

According to the sources, the government will also discuss whether or not to bring an ordinance for the purpose as the proposed changes will cut across different laws relating to crimes by juveniles, rapes and the Indian Penal Code itself.

Sources said bringing an ordinance now, when the budget session is three weeks away, will send a message that the government means business.

The move will also help the government stave off criticism that it was not serious on the issue.

Sources said that if the government decided to bring an ordinance to effect changes in various laws to curb crimes against women, it would have to obtain the president's approval before the modifications become operative in law.

Even then, the government would have to get the ordinance ratified by the parliament within six months.

According to sources, a section of the government is of the view that an all-party meeting or a round of informal consultations with various political parties should be held first on the proposed changes in laws so there is unanimity in the political class and the modifications sail through parliament smoothly.

The cabinet is expected to prepare a draft of the amendments it plans to introduce in the various laws so that the same can be discussed with other political parties.

--Indo-Asian News service

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