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Union Cabinet approves death penalty for rapists of children below 12 years

The Union Cabinet On Saturday Approved The Ordinance To Award Death Sentence To The Rapists Of Children Below The Age Of 12.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Nabanita Chakorborty | Updated on: 21 Apr 2018, 06:20:12 PM

New Delhi:

The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance to award death sentence to the rapists of children below the age of 12.

"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. Death penalty has been provided for rapists of girls below 12 years of age," ANI reported.

Following a meeting of the Union Cabinet on Saturday, the government cleared the amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Now the ordinance will be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his approval.

Also Read | Uttar Pradesh man allegedly rapes 35-year-old daughter; calls two other friends to join

As per government sources, the Cabinet has also decided to put in place measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases.

The minimum punishment for rape will now be life imprisonment as opposed to rigorous imprisonment of seven-10 years earlier.

In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of his life.

Talking about the latest development, Rekha Sharma (chairperson, NCW) said, "I welcome this move of the government. But the main challenge is the implementation of the law. I would still suggest that there be fast track courts so that justice can be delivered at the earliest."

"In principle, CPM is against death penalty. The death penalty is already there in rarest of rare cases. The actual issue is that some members of govt are supporting rapists. There should be a penalty against rapist rakhsaks," ANI quoted CPM's Brinda Karat.

"To divert the issue the govt is trying to bring this in. I am afraid as this has very little credibility. We want the certainty of punishment. This issue is not addressing the issue which is agitating the minds of Indians," Karat added.

The decision has been taken amid the growing clamour over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua. Two other spine chilling cases in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao and Gujarat’s Surat district have also shaken the collective conscience of the nation.

Also Read | Unnao Rape Case: UP government withdraws BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar's 'Y' category security cover

Earlier, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had expressed her ministry's intention to amend the POCSO to make provision for death penalty in such cases.

The Centre has submitted its report on the basis of a public interest litigation (PIL). It has sought maximum sentence of death penalty to those offenders involved in the rape and brutal murder of children below the age of 12. Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava has filed the petition in the Supreme Court. 

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First Published : 21 Apr 2018, 03:00:59 PM