India decides to give death penalty to child rapists
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the ordinance to award death penalty to those who are convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age. The Ordinance is in effect from Sunday. The final stage of the Ordinance has been completed a day after the Cabinet approved it.
The Ordinance was passed by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Moreover, the minimum punishment in any case of rape of a girl aged under 16 years, to be awarded has been increased from 10 years to 20 years imprisonment.
This imprisonment is extendable to the culprits lifetime. The minimum punishment to those raping a girl aged under 12 will be 20 years imprisonment. Measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases has also been decided to put in place by the Cabinet.
This development of passing new ordinance comes when there were a mass protests over the cases of rape that occurred recently.
Earlier, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act, the maximum punishment for “aggravated assault” was life imprisonment while the minimum sentence prescribed was seven years in jail.
The government had on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it is actively considering amending the penal law to introduce death penalty to those convicted of sexually abusing children up to 12 years of age. “An ordinance today is the best way to deal with the issue. An amendment bill will have to wait (until July) when the Monsoon session commences,” a law ministry official had said.
After the Nirbhaya case in December 2012, when the criminal laws were amended, a provision of death penalty in case the woman either dies or is left in a “vegetative state” after the rape was introduced through an ordinance which later became the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
The recent incidents of cruelty against minors include that of an eight-year-old girl who was gangraped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district and a nine-year-old who was found dead in Surat after she was allegedly raped for at least eight days before being strangled to death.