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Criminal Law Bill that proposes death penalty for child rape convicts passed in LS


ANI New Delhi [India]
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018, which ensures stringent punishment for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age.
The bill was taken up for discussion in the Lok Sabha earlier today. During the discussion, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said, "New provision proposes that court, where rape cases are trialed, should be presided by a woman judge. The statements in rape cases should be recorded by a woman police officer."
Reacting to the rise in the number of rape cases against children, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi said, "Law cannot stop the rape of children, change of men's mentality can."
The bill will now replace the Criminal Law Ordinance promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on April 22, to strengthen the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In the wake of an increase in incidents of rape of minors, the Union Cabinet on April 21 approved a number of measures to amend the POCSO Act.
The ordinance seeks death penalty for the rapists of girls below 12 years of age and stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of girls below 16 years.
The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
In terms of gangrape, the cabinet stated that the punishment for the gang-rape of a girl under 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of the life of the convict.
With regards to rape or gangrape of a girl below the age of 12, the cabinet said the accused would be sentenced to 20 years' of imprisonment, imprisonment for life or death.
The cabinet also decided to put in place a number of measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases. It has also provided for a six-month time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases.
The ordinance was necessitated following massive protests over the rape and murder of a minor in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua in January.
The victim in the alleged rape-and-murder case was an eight-year-old girl who belonged to a nomadic Muslim tribe. She was allegedly abducted, drugged, gang-raped, tortured and killed in January.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 9:25 PM IST

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