In a Union Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 a decision has been taken to introduce a Bill on awarding the death penalty for those convicted of rape of girls below the age of 12 in the monsoon session of Parliament. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018
, once approved by Parliament, will replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance
promulgated on April 21 following an outcry over the rape and murder of a minor girl at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of a woman at Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. To extend provisions of the amendment bill to male child survivors, the government in the next few days will also bring before the Cabinet a proposal for amendments to the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act.
Once approved the Criminal Law Amendment Bill will apply to cases involving both the male and female survivors of sexual assault. As per the officials, the minimum punishment in the rape case of a woman has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to ten years. In case of a girl aged between 12 to 16 minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years and in case of gang rape of a girl aged between 12 to 16 punishment will be imprisonment for the rest of his life. While the punishment for crimes against girls was enhanced through amendment there was no mention of crimes against boys to the Indian Penal Code, 1860
. Therefore the government will seek to correct that anomaly as well.