Indian Govt. approves death penalty for convicted rapists

The Union Cabinet of India’s government on Saturday approved an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.

Official sources said in New Delhi that the criminal law amendment ordinance seeks 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 to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.

The move comes against the backdrop of the alleged rape and murder of girls in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and Gujarat’s Surat district recently. 

The rape of a minor in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district had also outraged the nation.

The ordinance would be now sent to the President for his approval.

A senior official in the ministry of Women and Child Development earlier told TheHindustan Times, “Since the Parliament is not in session and considering the urgency of the situation, we have decided to bring an ordinance to implement the changes in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012”.


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Maneka Gandhi, the Union minister for Women and Child Development, was the first cabinet minister to propose the changes last week.


The Cabinet approved an ordinance to award death penalty to those who are convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age. – In case of rape of a girl aged under 16 years, the minimum punishment to be awarded has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment. – The minimum punishment to those raping a girl aged under 12 will be 20 years imprisonment ________________ In the wake of recent rape incidents involving minors, there has been a strong call for maximum punishment for the guilty. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and BJP MP Hema Malini have, in particular, called for the guilty to be ‘ hanged to death.’ . . . . . #kathua #unnao #rape #rapecase #childabuse #savethechildren #protect #girlchild #savethegirls #girlpower #posco #JusticeForOurChild #zeenews

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The new ordinance entails the following:

  • Minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from the imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
  • The minimum punishment for the rape of a child under 16 has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which shall mean imprisonment till that person’s natural life.
  • The punishment for the gang-rape of a girl under 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for rest of life of the convict.
  • Rigorous punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years includes minimum 20 years imprisonment or imprisonment for rest of life or with death.
  • Time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed to be mandatorily completed within 2 months.
  • Time limit for completion of the trial of all rape cases has also been prescribed to be necessarily completed in 2 months.
  • Disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed with a 6 months time limit.
  • There will be no provision for anticipatory bail for anyone accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
  • Special forensic kits for rape cases to all Police Stations and hospitals and a dedicated manpower for the investigation in a time bound manner will be provided.
  • This data will be regularly shared with States/UTs for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents by police.
  • 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 under 16 years of age.

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