India parliament approves bill toughening rape laws
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's lower house on Tuesday approved a bill toughening punishments for rapists and other sexual offenders that was introduced following the fatal gang-rape of a student that sparked national outrage.
Members of the decision-making lower house of parliament gave their assent, following a seven-hour debate, to the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill which also contains new penalties for stalking, groping, voyeurism and acid attacks.
The legislation, which must now be approved by the nominated upper house, provides for a minimum 20-year prison sentence for gang-rape, that can be extended to life in jail.
It also provides for the death sentence if a rape victim dies or is left in a vegetative state.