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Government Approves Ordinance for Capital Punishment to Child Rapists

21.04.2018

In wake of recent horrific incidents of child rapes in different parts of country, the Central Government has approved an Ordinance for providing strict punishment for rapists of girls below the age of 16 years and death penalty for girls below 12 years of age. The Cabinet meeting was headed by the Prime Minister on Saturday and approved the promulgation of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. Giving a stringent signal to perpetrators of crime of child rape, the Government has taken a serious note of incidents of rape and has decided to make a strong and comprehensive response to deal with such situations.

The Ordinance includes the Death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age, minimum punishment in case of rape of women increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment; in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life.

The ordinance further provides for speedy investigation and trial, wherein the Government has suggested time limit for investigation of all cases of rape to be mandatorily completed within two months. Two months time has been prescribed for completion of trial of all rape cases and six months’ time is prescribed for disposal of appeals in rape cases.

The Ordinance has also brought some important changes with regard to grant of bail, wherein it has been prescribed that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years and the Court has to give notice of 15 days to Public Prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl below the age of 16 years.

The Government has also decided to set up new fast track Courts in consultation with States/UTs and High Courts and creation of new posts of public prosecutors and adding up infrastructure in consultation with States/UTs, providing special forensic kits for rape cases to all Police Stations and hospitals. The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sexual offenders.

At present, the punishment for rape is rigorous imprisonment of not less than seven years and upto imprisonment for life with fine, if offence is committed by a public servant or member of armed forces etc., the imprisonment shall not be less than 10 years and may extend upto imprisonment for remainder of person’s natural life. The punishment for gang rape is rigorous imprisonment of not less than 20 years and may extend upto imprisonment for remainder of person’s natural life.

Now, with the new Ordinance bringing the death penalty for chid rapists, it is hopeful that it will deter such kind of inhuman crimes.