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The Rajasthan Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a bill that provides for the death sentence to those convicted of raping girls aged 12 years or below.
Once the bill is passed into law, Rajasthan will become only the second such state, after Madhya Pradesh, where rapists of girls of 12 years or below will face the gallows.
Presenting the bill in the House, state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said rape with girls less than 12 years is such a heinous crime, which makes the life of the victim a hell. "To ensure there is safety in the society and female folk are guarded against such heinous crimes, it is necessary to impose a heavy penalty."
The Minister said through the bill, the government aims to add two new clauses to the existing laws. Provision of death sentence or rigorous imprisonment has been made if an accused commits rape with girls under 12 years of age by adding Section 376-AA to the Indian Penal Code, 1860. "In case of rigorous imprisonment, it will not be less than 14 years and can be extended up to life imprisonment."
Similarly, another Section 376-DD has been added, through which every person of a group would be considered guilty of crime if gang rape with a girl below the age of 12 years is reported, he added.
Kataria said: "We are lucky to have witnessed the initiation of this progressive law in the state. Through this law, we have tried to convey the message to the public and the people of the state that death sentence can also be given for rape with minor girl."
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