President Ram Nath Kovind approves Ordinance awarding death penalty for child rape

KalingaTV News Network

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave his approval to the Criminal Law Ordinance, 2018, which was approved by the Union Cabinet yesterday.

The Ordinance, that allows courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children below 12 years of age, will now have to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) within six weeks, once they reconvene.

The Cabinet also had given its green signal for increasing the minimum punishment, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, from 10 years to 20 years which is extendable to life imprisonment.

Likewise, the Union Cabinet also decided to increase the minimum punishment in case of rape of women from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment.

Earlier, as per the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, the maximum punishment for “aggravated assault” was life in jail. The minimum sentence prescribed was seven years in jail.

The Cabinet has also decided to put in place measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases.

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 Union Cabinet’s decision for change in POCSO Act came in the wake 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 Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh is also another incident which has created outrage across the nation.

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