A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

India upper house passes anti-rape legislation

India's upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha [official website], approved a bill [text, PDF] on Thursday that imposes tough penalties on perpetrators of sex crimes. The bill, which was approved by the lower house [JURIST report] earlier this week, increases the punishment for crimes such as rape, stalking and voyeurism. It imposes a jail term for up to seven years for stalking and voyeurism and allows for the death penalty in rape cases in which the victim dies or goes into a coma [WSJ report]. Also contained in the bill are a provision that requires hospitals to provide treatment to rape victims and a provision that imposes a 10-year jail term on anyone who damages a woman's body by throwing acid on it. The bill now goes to President Pranab Mukherjee [official website], who is expected to sign it into law.

There has been a growing outcry for harsher penalties and reform in technical aspects India's law since the rape and subsequent death [BBC reports] of a medical student in December. Last month Mukherjee signed the proposed changes that the Lok Sabha passed. India created a committee in January that recommended the legal reforms in its report [JURIST report]. In December Indian authorities charged six suspects [JURIST report] with murder after the death of the gang rape victim. Also in December Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [official profile] called for peace [JURIST report] after a protest over sexual violence resulted in a clash between protesters and police.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.