Women and Child Development minister Krishna Tirath on Friday said she favoured the death penalty for extremely brutal rape cases that result in victims becoming incapable of leading a normal life.
As the government grappled with demands for enhanced punishment to rapists, Tirath said she supported a change in the existing laws.
"Laws should be amended to include death as a punishment for rape in cases where after the crime the victim is no longer able to enjoy a normal state of existence and functioning," Tirath said.
The minister said in less extreme rape cases, conventional punishments could apply. "However, in other rape cases, the law should take its own course. We have received mixed views ranging from chemical castration to death penalty. I feel that if death penalty becomes the norm, this may reduce conviction rate. This may cause even more burden on the rape survivor," she said.
Tirath, however, felt that in the Delhi gangrape case, all the accused should be awarded the death penalty as it qualifies as a "rarest of rare" crime.
She said recent incidents of violence against women had created a growing concern regarding their security and priority should be given to address issues at the highest level.
The ministry is also recommending special cadre on the lines of Central Bureau of Investigation to look into cases of rape and presence of more women law enforcement officers.