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Lok Sabha Passes BIll Seeking Death Penalty For Raping Girls Below Age Of 12 Years

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| July 31 , 2018 , 11:58 IST

A bill seeking to provide death penalty to rapists convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The bill seeks to replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on April 21, following the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case where an eight year old nomadic girl was sedated and raped multiple times earlier this year.

 

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijuju said, "New provision proposes that court, where rape cases are being taken up, should be presided by a woman judge. The statement in the rape cases should also be recorded by a woman police officer.”

 

Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai suggested the provisions of the amended law must be made available to the public in all regional languages and should be publicised.

The bill stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 12 years. Death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.

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Rijuju said, “The minimum punishment in cases of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.”

Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence. Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death.

Bollywood actress and BJP minister Kirron Kher said the bill was "well-timed" and provides hope for safer future for women. She said the opposition should not selectively highlight the case of child rape but speak about how to deal with the henious crime.

The bill seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 to provide that the minimum punishment for rape of a woman under 16 years will be rigorous imprisonment for at least 20 years which can extend to life.