POCSO also introduced; ordinance modelled on GoI’s increases jail term, shortens trial period in rape cases
Jammu: After the Government of India passed an ordinance to make rape of a child punishable by death, the Jammu & Kashmir government on Tuesday passed an almost identical ordinance and also brought in an ordinance modelled on the Government of India’s Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance (POCSO). These two new laws provide for death penalty for rape of children below 12 years of age and 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment for rape of girls below 16 years of age.
The Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance 2018 were passed in the cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu on Tuesday.
Law and Panchayati Raj Minister Abdul Haq Khan addressed the media after conclusion of the cabinet meeting. Khan informed that rape of a girl whose age is between 12 years and 16 years would now be punished with 20 years of rigorous imprisonment or with life imprisonment. “Life in this case means life. There will be no other interpretation of it,” he told reporters.
Khan said that investigations into sexual offence cases would now be led by women investigators. The trial of the cases would be held in-camera and any fine imposed would not go into state exchequer but for the rehabilitation of the victim.
“Investigation will be completed within two months and the trial has to be completed in six months. The maximum time in which the appeal has to be heard is six months,” he added.