Moily: sexual assault law will be stringent

In the backdrop of Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, the Union law and justice ministry is working on the Sexual Offences (Special Courts) 2010 Bill which aims to fast-track cases of sexual offences. The proposed law stipulate that investigation in such cases be completed within six months to an year, and also proposes to make punishment for cases of sexual assault on women more stringent.

Speaking to this paper, law and justice minister M. Veerappa Moily stated that the government will make punishment for cases of sexual assault on women more stringent. “The bill is currently being drafted and is likely to be brought before Parliament later this year after seeking the approval of the Union Cabinet,” Dr Moily stated.
“Through the bill we are aiming towards making the laws more stringent and also to enhance the sentence for the offence of outraging the modesty of a woman,” the law minister stated.
Through the proposed change in law, the government will also aim to address the anomaly wherein present rape laws only recognise sexual crimes involving penile penetration. While the sexual molestation law covers all sexual offences that outrage the modesty of the victim. The bill is also likely to seek a higher jail term for offenders of molestation, present laws make molestation a bailable offence which and attracts punishment of a maximum of two years.
Law ministry sources stated that the need for such a law was felt after a public outcry at the delay in the verdict of the Ruchika Girhotra murder case.

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