Enact law in 3 months for death to child rapists: HC to govt
A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh made the recommendation while upholding the death sentence of a rape convict who had brutally assaulted an eight-year-old in Udham Singh Nagar district in 2016. The suggestion comes a month after the Madhya Pradesh assembly passed a bill in December recommending death penalty for those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years and below.Updated: Jan 05, 2018 20:56 IST
DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand high court suggested to the state government on Friday to enact a legislation within three months for handing death sentence to those found guilty of raping girls aged 15 years or below.
A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh made the recommendation while upholding the death sentence of a rape convict who had brutally assaulted an eight-year-old in Udham Singh Nagar district in 2016.
The recommendation comes a month after the Madhya Pradesh assembly -- in a first -- passed a bill in December recommending death penalty for those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years and below.
Noting how it was for the state government to bring an appropriate legislation to impose death sentence upon rape convicts, the court said it can always make a recommendation (to the government) for bringing in a law to impose a stringent sentence upon child rapists.
“The court is coming across a number of cases where the victims, aged 15 years or below, are being raped and murdered. There should be deterrence. Accordingly, we recommend/suggest to the state government to enact suitable legislation for awarding death sentence to those found guilty of raping girls aged 15 years or below within three months,” the court order noted.
The bench also directed that a copy of the order be sent to the chief secretary and principal secretary (home) for compliance. Taking note of the “ever-increasing crime against children” in Uttarakhand, the court said the ratio of cases registered were ‘disproportionately large’ vis-à-vis the population of the state.
HT in its December 3 edition had highlighted how Uttarakhand witnessed around 38% increase in crimes against children between 2014 and 2016. From 489 cases in 2014 and 635 in 2015, the number of crimes against children in the state rose to 676 in 2016, according to the 2016 report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Uttarakhand reported the highest number of crimes against children among the Himalayan states in 2016.
Cases of kidnapping and abduction of children (436) came on the top, followed by those lodged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) (218), including 91 cases of child rape and 35 of sexual assault on children.
In the present case in which death sentence was upheld, the eight-year-old girl was raped by the convict in June 2016 in Udham Singh Nagar district and her body was later found in an agricultural field. The medical examination showed that the victim underwent acute pain, shock and due to exertion of pressure was suffocated while being raped, which led to her death due to asphyxiation.
Accused Karandeep Sharma was convicted under sections of the Indian Penal Code and POCSO by the additional sessions judge/special POCSO judge, Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district in April 2017 and was sentenced to death for rape and murder of the child.
The high court dismissed the criminal appeal of the appellant for “being devoid of merits” and affirmed the death sentence. Noting how the convict’s act fell within the “rarest of the rare category” given the gruesome manner in which the child was subjected to rape, the division bench said the prosecution had proved its case “beyond any reasonable doubt.”
With inputs from Kamal Jagati