Current Affairs

Cabinet Approves Ordinance for Death Penalty for Child Rapists

The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance to provide death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age.
Cabinet Approves Ordinance for Death Penalty for Child Rapists
  • The Ordinance amends the IPC (Indian Penal Code), Criminal Procedure Code, POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and Indian Evidence Act.
  • This was approved in a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Modi.
  • The decision came a day after the Ministry of Women and Child Development told the Supreme Court that it was proposing the death penalty for those convicted of raping children.
  • Death penalty has been provided for rapists of girls below 12 years of age. 
  • It has also been decided to put in place a number of measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases.
  • The Ordinance was sent to the President for his approval and he has given his nod.
  • The Cabinet move came in the backdrop of nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, and other instances in different parts of the country.

Salient features of the Ordinance

Criminal Law

  • Minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from an imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years which is extendable to even life imprisonment.
  • In case of a rape of a girl below 16 years of age, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
  • The punishment for gang rape of a girl under 16 years of age will be an imprisonment for the rest of the life of the convict.
  • In case of a rape of a girl below 12 years of age - minimum 20 years imprisonment or imprisonment for the rest of the life or with death.
  • In case of gang rape of a girl below 12 years of age – imprisonment for the rest of the life

Speedy investigation and trial

  • It provides for speedy investigation and trial, which must be completed in two months.
  • It proposes 6 months’ time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases. 
  • It provides dedicated manpower for investigation of rape cases in time bound manner.

Restrictions on bail

  • It has been prescribed that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rap roe gang rape of a girl under 16 years of age.
  • The court has to give a 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 16 years of age.

Other measures

Strengthening the courts and prosecution

  • New fast-track courts will be set up in consultations with the States/UTs and High Courts.
  • Creation of new posts of public prosecutor and related infrastructure.
  • Special forensic kits for rape cases for all police stations and hospitals.
  • Setting up of special forensic labs in each State/UT exclusively for rape cases.
  • Dedicated manpower will be provided for investigation of rape cases in a time bound manner.
  • This new mission mode project will be launched within 3 months.

National Database

  • The national database and the profiles of the offenders will be maintained by the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau).
  • This data will be regularly shared with the States/UTs for tracking, monitoring and investigation including police verification.

Assistance to victims

  • The present scheme of One Stop Centre for the assistance of victims will be extended to all districts in the country.
Cabinet Approves Ordinance for Death Penalty for Child Rapists Cabinet Approves Ordinance for Death Penalty for Child Rapists Reviewed by Aman Bhatia on April 23, 2018 Rating: 5

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