Today, Lok Sabha passed a bill which provides death penalty to the convicts of raping girls below the age 12 years. This made the law more strict against the sexual offenses. This bill is the result of the incidents of rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of another woman at Unna in Uttar Pradesh.
This bill replaced the Criminal Law(Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on 21st April 2018. This bill is passed by a voice vote and supported by most of the members but this bill was also subjected to various oppositions too. In a debate Minister of state for Home, Kiren Rijiju said that “the stringent law was aimed at providing safety to minor girls. “ He further said that, “recent incidents of rape and gangrape of women below the age of 12 years has shaken the conscience of the entire nation. Therefore, the offenses of rape and gangrape of women under the age of 12-16 years require effective deterrence through legal provisions of more stringent punishment, the minimum punishment in cases of rape of women has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment”
The bill has increased the minimum punishment from 10 to 20 years and it can be extended to imprisonment for the rest of life in case of raping a girl less than 16 years of age. In case of girl is below 12 years, the minimum jail term is 20 years which may extend to life imprisonment or death sentence.
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