Minimum sentence enhanced from 7 to 10 years
New Delhi: The Government of India (GoI), in a cabinet meet 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 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 girl 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 India.
The ordinance also enhances the minimum sentence for rape from seven years to 10 years in jail.
The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
After the Nirbhaya case in December 2012, when the criminal laws were amended, the minimum sentence for raping a woman was kept at seven years of rigorous imprisonment which could be extended to life in jail.
According to the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018 approved by the Cabinet today, the minimum sentence for raping a woman will now be 10 years of rigorous imprisonment, “extendable to life imprisonment”.
Life in jail means that the convict would not be released from prison till the end of his “natural life”.
The ordinance would be now sent to the President for his approval.
Once the ordinance is promulgated, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act will stand amended to make way for new provisions.