The deadline for completing rape trials to be 2 months.
New Delhi: Aiming to take stringent action against those convicted of rape of girls below the age of 12 years, including death penalty for the guilty, the government on Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
The amendment bill, once approved by Parliament, would replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on April 21, following an outcry over the ra-
pe and murder of a minor girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of another woman in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
It stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 12 years. Death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.
Introducing the bill, Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said the recent incidents of rape and gangrape of women under the age of 16 years and 12 years have shaken the nation’s conscience.
Therefore, the offences of rape and gangrape of women under the age of 16 years and 12 years requires effective deterrence through legal provisions of more stringent punishment, he said.
“Some incidents in recent years have been marked by increased brutality and violence against minor girls. This has fuelled demands from various sections of society to make penal provisions more stringent and effective, immediate arrest of the accused and speedy trial,” Mr Rijiju added.
The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
According to the legislation, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment, which means jail term till convicts’ “natural life”.
The punishment for gang-rape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be life imprisonment.
Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence. Gang-rape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death.
The measure also provides for speedy investigations and trial.
The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.