New Delhi: The Union Cabinet held a meeting on Saturday where it approved an ordinance that allows the courts to award death penalty to the convicted rapists those who rape children below the age of 12 years of age. The news agency PTI sources said, the criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the India Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure Act. This will introduce a provision that will help courts to sentence convicts for crimes of the same kinds give the death penalty.
The Union Cabinet also decided to put in place measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases. The ordinance comes in the wake of an outraged that engulfed the nation against the rape incidents in Kathua, Surat, and Unnao. As per news agency ANI, the Union Cabinet approved an Ordinance to be promulgated to provide for stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of girls below 16 years age and below 12 years of age. The death penalty has been provided for rapists of girls below 12 years of age.
According to ANI, the ordinance would now be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his approval. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment; minimum 20 years’ imprisonment or life imprisonment for the rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided in the Ordinance.
The Centre had informed the Supreme Court yesterday that it is considering the amendment of the penal law to introduce death penalty to the culprit. “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,” said a law ministry official.