Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association seeks chemical castration for child rapists

Updated on May 04, 2018 10:28 PM IST
Chemical castration involves injecting anti-androgens in a person, which lowers the level of testosterone. It is a reversible process, if injections are stopped.
Students shout slogans during a protest against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, in Srinagar on April 16.(REUTERS)
Students shout slogans during a protest against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, in Srinagar on April 16.(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Close on the heels of the government promulgating an ordinance that provides for death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12, the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA) has made a representation to the Prime Minister’s Office, seeking chemical castration as additional punishment for child rapists.

The PMO has forwarded the petition to the Union women and child development (WCD) secretary, directing the ministry to take appropriate action. “….Reply may be sent to the petitioner and a copy of the same may be uploaded on the portal,” reads the PMO’s April 26 communication to the ministry.

Mahalakshmi Pavani, senior advocate and SCWLA president said, “Though, following the
ordinance, courts can pronounce death penalty on those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12, an additional punishment of chemical castration will act as a deterrent.”

Chemical castration involves injecting anti-androgens in a person, which lowers the level of testosterone — the male hormone — in the body, reducing sex drive and the capacity to get aroused. It is a reversible process, if injections are stopped.

A senior WCD ministry official said they would examine the representation.

In its petition, the SCWLA also said the term “child” required to be defined.

“Definition of child must include both small girls and boys between age group of 0-10 years. Because in the recent past there have been uncountable incidents where small boys have been sexually exploited and raped and have suffered untold pain and agony,” reads the representation.

The April 22 ordinance came in the aftermath of the brutal rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

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