The Haryana Assembly on Thursday passed a bill advocating death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls below 12 years of age. Haryana has become the third state after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to pass such a bill.
This will entail amending provisions under Section 376 that relate to rape, Section 354 (assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), and 354D (2) (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Haryana government had in February given its nod to a proposal to bring in a legislation that would have a provision awarding death penalty to those guilty of raping girls aged 12 years or less. In case of rape or gang rape of a girl up to 12 years of age, there will be a punishment of death or rigorous imprisonment of not less than 14 years which may extend to imprisonment for life that is for remainder period of person's natural life, the Cabinet had then decided.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had in January said that his government would bring in such a law.
"We will enact a law to provide for capital punishment for those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years or below. Besides, we will make a request for setting up fast-track courts for dealing with rape cases to ensure speedy justice to the victims," Khattar had said in January.
The Rajasthan Assembly had on March 9 passed a bill in which stringent punishment, including the death penalty, can be awarded to those found guilty of raping girls below 12 years of age. A similar law was passed in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on December 4 last year.