Suggestions for expanding definition of rape

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) Suggestions have been made to expand the definition of rape and make the crime punishable by death and views have been sought from states in this regard, the Lok Sabha was informed today. The Law Commission in its 172nd report on Review of Rape Laws has recommended a number of changes, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said while replying to questions. As the Home Ministry prepared a draft amendment bill, the National Commission for Women recommended changes in the rape laws, he said. He said the suggestions include changing the definition of rape and making the crime punishable by death as against the life imprisonment at present. The Law Commission, however, has not favoured death penalty, saying the law could be misused. Since the matter relates to the states, their views have been sought on the suggestions made, Patil said. On the rape cases, he said 75 per cent of such crimes are committed by persons known to the victim. They include parents, other family members or neighbours, he said. Rapes committed by strangers account for 25 per cent, he said. He said 6.4 per cent of the 18,376 rape cases investigated in 2006 were found false. Earlier, in 2005, such cases accounted for 6.3 per cent of 17,946 and 7 per cent of 17,008 in 2004. PTI

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