MOSCOW, February 8 (RAPSI) – The lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, adopted in the second reading on Wednesday a bill that authorizes courts to set aside real prison sentences for pregnant women and new parents during delivering a judgement.

The Russian Constitution reads that family, motherhood and childhood are under the protection of the state; childcare and child-rearing are equal right and duty of parents, an explanatory note to the bill says. In accordance with the Russian family law, all children have a right to live and grow up in families, as far as it is possible, a right to know their parents, a right to parental care and a right to living together with their parents with the exception of cases when it is adverse to their interests.

Currently, courts may set aside a real prison sentence for expectant mothers, women who have children aged up to 14 years and single dads, until their child reaches the age of 14.

Under the bill, courts would be entitled to delay service of punishment not only at the stage of its execution but at the stage of sentencing.

The bill does not conflict with provisions of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty and other international treaties signed by Russia.

Amendments are proposed to Russia’s Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.