The country has been witnessing massive protests in light of the two most recent incidents of rape crimes, especially the rape and murder of an eight year old female in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. The involvement of a ruling party mla in the other case in the state of Uttar Pradesh has further infuriated the public.
The Union Cabinet as of today (April 21, 2018) has approved an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
In addition to amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to ensure catial punishment, the ordinance also seeks provisons for:
- Maximum sentence term for rape crimes
- Speedy trials by setting up new fast track court
- Specifying a period for completion of investigation and trials
- Restriction clauses on anticipatory bail for the accused if the victim is under 16 years
- Providing proper forensic kits to the police stations and setting up forensic labs to aid timely investigation
- NCRB (National Crimes Records Bureau) to also maintain a sexual offenders data
Union Government approves death penalty for rape of children