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Punjab adopts death penalty for rape of below-12 girls

Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the criminal law ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code to enhance minimum punishment for rape from the existing seven to 10 years

punjab Updated: Jun 27, 2018 21:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
death penalty,criminal law,Indian Penal Code
The minimum punishment for the offence of rape of a girl child under 16 years of age is life imprisonment, as against the earlier provision of 20 years. (HT FILE PHOTO)

The Punjab cabinet on Wednesday decided to extend to the state two ordinances relating to cases involving rapes and fugitive economic offenders, as recently promulgated by the Union government.

The meeting approved republication of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 of the centre, to make the law on rape more stringent, in the Punjab gazette. Further, in consonance with the finance ministry’s proposal of promulgating the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018, the state cabinet gave its nod to republish the aforesaid ordinance in the official gazette of the state.

Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the criminal law ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code to provide for enhancement of minimum punishment for rape from the existing seven to 10 years. The minimum punishment for the offence of rape of a girl child under 16 years of age has been fixed at life imprisonment, as against the earlier provision of 20 years.

The Code of Criminal Procedure has also been amended under the ordinance to ensure mandatory completion of investigation in rape cases within two months. Trial of rape cases is also required to be completed in two months, with a total limit of six months fixed for disposal of appeals in all rape cases. The provision of anticipatory bail to the person accused of rape or gangrape of a girl under 12 years or 16 years of age has also been done away. Further the high court or the court of sessions, before deciding the regular bail applications, will give notice of 15 days to the public prosecutor to appear for hearing of the application, where presence of a person authorised by victim shall be mandatory.

As far as the fugitive economic offenders are concerned, the ordinance empowers the authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders, such as loan defaulters, who flee the country. The ordinance was promulgated by the Centre in the wake of the recent financial frauds, especially the Rs 13,000-crore loan scam wherein Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fled the country.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 21:22 IST