- The criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the IPC, the Evidence Act, CrPC and the POCSO Act.
- Minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment; in case of gang rape of a girl below 12 years, punishment will be life imprisonment or death sentence.
Amid a nation-wide outrage over the recent spate of rape incidents, the union cabinet on Saturday cleared an ordinance to bring in death penalty for those convicted in rape of minor girls.
The union cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
Official sources said here that the criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Chitra Wagh, a NCP leader said, “This is indeed a landmark decision taken by the union cabinet. We welcome this decision. We hope that the rapists who are convicted will be awarded death sentence. But, justice should be delivered in time bound manner.”
Amit Karkhanis, who works as an advocate said, “India has been witnessing a rise in rape cases. So, this landmark decision will prove to be a deterrent for the offenders. Many a times, offenders do not fear to going to jail. But, they fear for their life. So we should welcome this decision.”
Union health minister J P Nadda tweeted about this move saying:
I welcome #CabinetDecision to amend POSCO Act
Death penalty to rapist of minor as maximum punishment. It is a landmark decision , a testimony of @narendramodi Ji’s commitment towards safety and security of girls and women .
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) April 21, 2018
The government’s tough stand on this issue follows the public outcry for award of death penalty to such sexual offenders, including the assaulters of an eight-year-old girl who was gang raped and killed at Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat’s Surat district recently.
#shivsena Amendment in POSCO is welcome step however it is not the last step.There is need to create Gendersensitive Law Enforcement Machinery, improvement in conviction Rate.Time needed in High courts may be inevitable however if it is up-to 5to 10yrs,We need to create solution pic.twitter.com/qQ1z2PzbjT
— Dr Neelam Gorhe (@neelamgorhe) April 21, 2018
The rape of a minor in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district had also outraged the nation.
The ordinance would be now sent to the President for his approval.