Rajasthan to bring in law punishing rape of girls aged 15 or below with death
The bill also proposes a minimum of 14-year rigorous imprisonment or life imprisonment for raping a 15-year-old or a younger child.india Updated: Jan 01, 2018 20:30 IST
The Rajasthan government was planning to bring a law to award death penalty for raping girls aged 15 or below, sources said on Monday, a month after neighbouring Madhya Pradesh passed a similar bill.
The Rajasthan’s home department was preparing a bill that would be presented during the budget session, expected to begin in the last week of February or the first week of March, sources said.
“The government intends to ensure safety of girls and women... that is why a move has been initiated for capital punishment in child rape cases,” a government official told Hindustan Times.
Rajasthan is ranked fifth in the country in crime against women, with 27,422 cases reported in 2016, National Crime Record Bureau data says.
Of the 3,656 rape cases registered in the state, 777 were for assaulting victims who were 18 or younger.
The bill also proposes a minimum of 14-year rigorous imprisonment or life imprisonment for raping a 15-year-old or a younger child, sources said.
At present, assaulting a 16-year-old invites a maximum of a life term.
Punishment for gang rape would be enhanced to death. Minimum sentence could be life imprisonment or 20 years in jail.
The draft of the bill was ready and would be sent to the law department after the home minister’s nod and then to the cabinet for approval, the official said.
Once passed by the assembly, the bill would be sent to the governor who would forward it for the President’s sanction. “Necessary amendments will be required in IPC (Indian Penal Code) and criminal procedure code,” the official said.
In December, the Madhya Pradesh assembly passed a bill for punishing with death the rape of a girl aged 12 or below.
Death penalty is prescribed for murder, gang robbery with murder, waging war against the state, some terror offences and also for repeating the crime of rape.
There are several people on death row in India but the sentence is rarely carried out, as support for abolition of death penalty grows.