President Ram Nath Kovind promulgates the ordinance to amend POCSO act(death sentence to those found guilty of raping a child below 12 years of age).
In case of rape of a girl aged under 16 years, the minimum punishment to be awarded has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment. The minimum punishment to those raping a girl aged under 12 will be 20 years imprisonment. The Cabinet also decided to put in place measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases.
Earlier on Saturday, the cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the death penalty for those convicted of raping children up to 12 years.
The move seeking the death penalty for child rapists comes in the backdrop of nationwide outrage over the brutal rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, the alleged rape of a minor in Unnao by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, and rising anger over a spate of such incidents being reported over the past few weeks.
Earlier on Friday, the government told the Supreme Court that the process to amend the POCSO Act has been launched, and the special legislation would include death penalty as punishment for raping children under 12.
The assertion of the Centre assumes significance following the public outcry for the award of death penalty to such sexual offenders, including the assaulters of an eight-year-old girl who was gang-raped and killed at Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir recently.