Centre approves Ordinance on Death Penalty for rape of girls below 12

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The ordinance also includes an amendment of an existing criminal law, which will impose draconian punishment for convicted violators of girls under the age of 16, according to officials cited by Reuters.

In case of rape of a girl below the age of 16, the punishment will be- imprisonment for 20 years (earlier 10 years) which is extendable for rest of life. "The ministry is proposing to amend POCSO Act-2012 to introduce death penalty for abusers in cases of aggravated sexual assault against children", it said.

The ordinance also prescribes that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years. Death penalty to child rapists sounds like the government is working on making the country a safer place for women and children, without actually making an effort to fasten rape trials, ensure better law enforcement and attempting to change the overall misogynistic mindset of the country.

In Kathua of Jammu and in Uttar Pradesh's Eta, the incidents of rape with minor girls have shaken the country, after which the government has decided to make strict provision for rape of minor girls.

Mr Modi's government faced criticism after a member of his Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh state was accused by a teenager of raping her. The ordinance will now be sent to the President for his approval.

"Death penalty is not an answer to everything", ASG Narasimha had said after the petitioner had demanded capital punishment for those raping children.

Protests have been erupting in different parts of the country and the world against the recent child rapes.

The bold move by the Centre has come in response to a series of incidents involving rape and murder of girls reported from Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir, Surat in Gujarat and the latest incident reported on Saturday from Indore in Madhya Pradesh involving a four-month-old infant.

The cabinet also recommended mandatory completion of rape investigations within two months and advised that trials should also be completed in two months. The rape cases hearing should be completed in two months.

To speed up the process, the government also plans to provide dedicated manpower for investigation of rape cases. This amendment is made to make provision for the death penalty in such cases. The BJP chief asserted that it will act as a deterrent to crimes against women.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said on Twitter, "Death for Child rapists is a welcome decision by PM @narendramodi ji".

New fast-track courts will be set up to deal with rape cases and special forensic kits for rape cases will be given to all police stations and hospitals in the long term.