New Delhi [India], Apr. 21 (NT): Amid hue and cry of recent increase in the incidents of rape of minors, the Union Cabinet on Saturday approved a number of measures to make stronger the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
According to the government sources, the cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the promulgation of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, for effective prevention against commission of rape, thereby instilling a sense of safety measures among women and especially young and minor girls in the country.
Consider the cognizance of the recent dreadful incidents of rape in various parts of the country, the cabinet today approved an ordinance to be circulate to provide for harsh punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of minors and girls below 16 years, and death penalty to be sentenced to rapists of girls below 12 years of age.
The bare minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from painstaking imprisonment of 7 to 10 years, extendable to life term. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment as ANI reported.
In terms of gang rape, the cabinet stated that the punishment for the gang rape of a girl under 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of the life of the offender.
With regards to rape or gangrape of a girl below the age of 12, the cabinet said the offender would be sent to 20 years' imprisonment for life or death.
The cabinet also decided to exercise in place a number of measures for immediate investigation and trial of rape cases. It has been prescribed that the time limit for inquiry of all rape cases has to be essentially completed within two months. In addition the time limit for completion of trial of all rape cases has been determined as two months.
It is noted that the cabinet has also provided for a six month time limit for removal of appeals in rape cases.