President Ram Nath Kovind Signs Ordinance, Making Child Rape Punishable By Death

| April 22 , 2018 , 14:48 IST

President Ram Nath Kovind signed an ordinance on Sunday providing stringent punishment including death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years, a day after the ordinance was approved by the Union Cabinet.

The Union Cabinet approval to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act which was cleared by the President, came amidst nationwide outrage over the recent spurt of rape cases.

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According to the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, new fast-track courts will be set up to deal with rape cases of minors, and special forensic kits for rape cases will also be provided to all police stations and hospitals in the long term.

The ordinance stipulates stringent punishment for rapists, with a death sentence for raping girls under the age of 12 years and a minimum imprisonment of 10 years as opposed to the earlier 7 years for other rapes, extendable to life imprisonment.

As per the ordinance, in the case of rape of girls between the age of 12 years to 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment for the rest of the convict's "natural life" and no anticipatory bail.

Along with the stringent quantum of punishment, the ordinance also provides for speedy investigation and trial with all investigations having to be mandatorily completed within 2 months.

In addition, the National Crime Records Bureau will be maintaining a national database and profile of sexual offenders, which will be regularly shared with states and Union territories for tracking, monitoring and investigation.

However, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012, is not applicable in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.