The cabinet today approved the draft of the "Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2020," to replace the ordinance promulgated by the President a few days ago, keeping the provision of death penalty for rape.
"The draft of the 'Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2020', which was issued in the form of an ordinance on October 14 was also approved … Now it will be placed before the House during the next special parliament session," cabinet secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam told journalists at his regular post-weekly cabinet meeting briefing.
The premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence while her cabinet colleagues were connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat through video conferencing.
The cabinet secretary said: "This is mainly done to protect the rules and regulations as if a law is issued in the form of an ordinance; it has to be raised in the form of a bill in the next session of Parliament. As part of this, the draft law was approved."
On the occasion of Mujib Barsho, the special session of parliament will be held on November 8, a source at the parliament said, adding that the session will be prorogued with the passage of a resolution on the political life of Bangabandhu.
In the draft law, the punishment provisions and other penalty for the rapists remain the same as those were in the ordinance but soon after the passage of the law the ordinance will be null and void, Islam said, replying to a question of reports at the press briefing.
The cabinet secretary said today's meeting approved the revised draft of the President's address to the special Jatiya Sangsad session of the 11th parliament on the occasion of the 'Mujib Year', the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
President M Abdul Hamid, in his speech before the House, would highlight the life and works of Father of the Nation, government's successful steps to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and some other outstanding achievements in the last few years under the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the greatest Bangalee of all time, he said.
The cabinet was also informed about active participation of Bangladesh delegation led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the 75th United Nations General Assembly through the virtual platform.
Apart from this, the cabinet discussed the overall COVID-19 situation and the government's precautionary measures in this regard and major headways of the under-construction multi-purpose Padma Bridges over the mighty Padma river.
The cabinet secretary said the 34th span of the Padma Bridge was installed today, bringing a total of over 5.1 kilometers of the structure into view.
Rest of the seven spans will be installed by January or in the middle of February next year," he added.