New Delhi: The proposal to lower the age of consensual sex from the present 18 years to 16 continued to be the sticking point at the meeting of GoM, set up to look into a new tough law to tackle crimes against women, with Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Krishna Tirath opposing the proposed move.
Sources said the Group of Ministers (GoM), which is looking into Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, agreed on most issues, but Tirath is understood to have stuck to her stance that the age of consent should continue to remain 18.
The Women and Child Development Minister is learnt to have maintained that the definition of the term 'child' is generally held to be anyone under 18 years of age. This definition was also present in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act which was passed by the Parliament last year, she said.
Among other aspects, the WCD Minister is learnt to have favoured a consistency in the age and definition of child in various laws. It is learnt that another meeting is likely to be held before the Bill can be forwarded to the Cabinet and the Parliament, where the issue related to 'age of consent' will again be deliberated in detail.
After the GoM held its meeting on Monday, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said substantial progress had been made in preparing the proposed legislation.
"Now we have completed the work substantially. I think we will require another hour or so," Chidambaram told reporters.
He said the GoM will meet again on Wednesday evening when the work will be completed and the Bill will go to the Cabinet on Thursday.
"Sections that we have covered, all points of view have been taken into account and reconciled and the final version of the clause has emerged and we can do that for the remaining sections also and on Wednesday the work will be complete," Chidambaram said.


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