New Delhi, Feb 2: With the cabinet approving the death penalty for rapists who cause grievous physical or mental damage to their victims - such as leaving them in a permanent vegetative state, it is most likely that the five rapists involved in the brutal Delhi gang-rape and murder of 23-year-old women will be sent to gallows.
The horrific gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in the national capital on Dec 16, 2012 left the entire nation aghast. The country saw street protests demanding capital punishment for all the six accused involved in the crime.
Currently, the five accused have been arrested for their horrific crime and are being tried at a fast-track court in Delhi. The sixth accused is being tried separately at a juvenile court, as his school certificate suggests that he is 17 years old.
As promised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Union government acted fast on Justice JS Verma committee report. The government has taken up an ordinance on tough punishment for sexual offenders.
According to sources the Union Cabinet is likely to okay the ordinance that proposes death sentence or imprisonment for the rest of the convict's life in extreme rape cases. The ordinance, however, does not cover marital rape.
The ordinance will become law as soon as the President signs it and requires Parliament's approval within six months, which the government plans to complete in the budget session.
Under pressure from public in the wake of Delhi gang-rape case, government had set up a three-member committee under the chairmanship of former chief justice Verma to suggest changes in anti-rape laws.
The committee had recommended major revisions of the laws that deal with crimes against women. The 600-page report was readied in just 29 days and Justice Verma had urged the government to match his team's commitment by implementing the changes urgently.