Rape to be renamed sexual assault – gender neutral
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet is likely to consider on Thursday a proposal to amend criminal law to make 'rape' a gender-neutral offence by substituting the word with 'sexual assault' and enhancing punishment for acid attacks.
As per the proposal to amend the rape law, if the new description of the offence as sexual assault is adopted, such attacks on men can also be proceeded against under the same rules.
Sources said that the change in the rape law has been drafted by the ministry of women and child development (WCD) as part of the criminal law (amendment) bill, 2011.
Another proposal that may also be considered in the cabinet is to include a new Section 326A (hurt by acid attack) and Section 326B (attempt to throw or administer acid) to the section 326 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Section 326 of the IPC deals with the offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means.
Sources said that there was a view within certain sections of the government that certain stricter laws were required to deal with the menace of acid attacks on women and other victims, which have occurred in several parts in the country.
It is learnt that the proposal seeks such an act to be made punishable with imprisonment of 10 years.