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This is how India will now punish those accused of sex crimes against children

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Minimum punishment for gang rape of a girl below 12 years will now be life imprisonment (until a person dies a natural death) or a death sentence.

New Delhi: With the Union Cabinet passing an ordinance to amend the POCSO Act, the minimum punishment awarded in case of a gang rape of a girl below 12 years will now be life imprisonment (until a person dies a natural death) or a death sentence.

Also, no anticipatory bail will be granted in cases of rape from now on and trial will be conducted within two months from the registration of the case.

The ordinance passed by the cabinet Saturday will be legally applicable from the time the President signs it.

ThePrint lists the major changes that have been made in the law.

1) Death for gang rape of a minor (under 12)

– The minimum punishment for rape of a minor has been increased from 10 years to 20 years or life imprisonment and maximum punishment being a death sentence.

– In case of gang rape of a minor, the minimum punishment will now be life imprisonment and maximum will be a death penalty.

Rape of a girl under 16 years of age

-The minimum punishment for raping a girl under 16 has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extending up to life until the person dies a natural death.

– For gang rape of a girl below 16 years of age, the sentence awarded shall be life imprisonment, until the person dies a natural death.

Rape of a girl under 18

-The minimum punishment for raping a major has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extendable up to life, until the person dies a natural death.

2) Trial and investigation to be completed in 2 months each

According to the ordinance, in case of a rape of a minor, the investigation will be completed in two months by the probe agency and the trial too should be completed in two months, followed by pronouncement of the sentence.

3) No anticipatory bail for the accused

4) Six months window for disposal of any appeal

5) New fast track courts

6) Dedicated manpower to be deployed for setting up of new forensics labs for better and faster investigation

7) No provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years:

• Court has to give notice of 15 days to public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in a case of rape of a girl under 16 years

• New fast track courts will be set up in consultation with states, UTs and high courts.

• Creation of new posts of public prosecutors and related infrastructure

• Special forensic kits for rape cases to all police stations and hospitals.

• Dedicated manpower will be provided for investigation of rape cases in a time-bound manner.

• Setting up special forensic labs in each state and union territories exclusively for rape cases.

• National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a database and profile of sexual offenders. The data will be regularly shared with states and UTs for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents by police.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The headline reads “This is how India will now punish those accused of sex crimes against children”.

    Well, shouldn’t it read “This is how India will now punish those CONVICTED of sex crimes against children” ?

    After all, unless the alleged rapist has been convicted in a court of law, he/she is innocent right? Or has India done away with the presumption of innocence principle?

    Therein lies the problems with rape and sexual assault prosecutions in India. From lodging a complaint of rape/sexual assault to obtaining conviction given the cultural reluctance to report rape, the unwillingness of policemen to file charges (FIRs) incompetent police investigators, a judiciary bogged down in cases and incompetent state prosecutors to name a few factors that prevail in India.

    Additionally, are there provisions in the law to prevent misuse of the law by women? Probably no. And will judges hand down the death sentence so easily? Perhaps no.

    This is a rushed piece of legislation that is window dressing and serves only 1 aim: Electoral.

  2. News reports say that Union Cabinet has cleared the Ordinance on 21 April , 2018 , providing for death penalty to convicts of raping a minor girl below age of 12 besides some more stringent provisions in favor of girls under 16 years. While the measure is alright , society must introspect as to how psychological degradation in society , though not widespread , has come about and identify remedial measures. After all , we take glory in a healthy past. However , it can be said that the malady has definitely psychological connection and to that extent , it may be apt to bring in the related alert in this Vedic astrology writer’s article – “ Astrologically speaking , some highlights for India in coming year 2018” –
    theindiapost.com , also at wionews.com last year on 19 October , 2017. The related text in the article reads as :-
    “ (1). Mid-March to 31 May 2018…………… The existing psychological cases may need upgraded expertise or there may be discernible increase in such like new cases during the year necessitating expansion of related infrastructure”. Something of the kind was also implied in para (3) of the article , reproduced here as :-
    “ (3). The year 2018 looks to be bringing to focus themes of political , religious or spiritual nature for a heightened or sharp analysis or discussion. Such analysis or discussion could also pave way for new enactments ….. having far reaching far reaching significance or value covering issues related to women”.
    http://www.windowtonews.com/news.php?id=95576&cat_id=7&p=&search=

  3. Sir,
    Law is silent on juvenile rapists.
    Law remains same, when the victim is above 18. Quantum of punishment would have been increased

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