New Delhi: The proposed bill which seeks to hand down stringent punishment for crimes against women, including rape and acid attack, and lower the age of consent for sex to 16, is set to face hurdles in an the all-party meeting convened by the government on Monday.

Samajwadi Party, which extends outside support to UPA, has openly come out against the provisions relating to stalking and lowering of consent age from 18 to 16 years.

Main opposition BJP wants the bill to be passed at the earliest. But, it has objections to lowering of age of consent which was 18 in the ordinance issued last month.

Rubbishing the anti-rape Bill, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav has said the party will oppose its proposals in Parliament and at the all-party meeting.

"We are opposed to the Bill. It has been framed on the recommendations of some mentally-retarded people," he said.

He was asked about the SP's stand on the anti-rape law, which has been cleared by the Cabinet and states that the age of consent be reduced to 16 from 18 years.

BJP has said it favours a strong anti-rape law but has certain reservations on some of the clauses in the Bill cleared by the Cabinet and will voice them in the all-party meeting.

"BJP agrees with most issues stated in the Bill and would like it to be passed. But some sections in the party have reservations on decreasing the age of consent from 18 to 16 years. We will take a final call on these issues after discussing it in the party," a senior BJP leader said.

Party sources said decreasing the age of consent is uncalled for as the minimum age for marriage is 18 years.


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