Indian Cabinet absolves directive bestowing death penalty or life imprisonment for child sexual assault cases

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“The directive was sent to the Indian President for consent and enacted by both Houses of Parliament within a month time”, said officials.

Pre-information – We mean the sex assault here as rape.

The insult over the abduction, rape and murder of a child girl in Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir), the Indian Cabinet on Saturday confirmed the open declaration of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 that permitting death penalty or life imprisonment to those charged of raping children below 12 years of age.

The previous change was done in the year of 2013 when the coercion over the December 2012 gang rape in Delhi had brought the government to take the directive, which was just a severe punishment for sexual offences against women. However, the cases of sexual assault against women did not stand still, thereafter, and hence, enforced cabinet to take this decision.

The directive provisions harsh punishment, for raping child below 12 yrs, with a minimum of 20 years rigorous imprisonment or life imprisonment and if possible a death (Hanging) to be awarded to the accused. In case of gang rape to a child, the punishment level goes from life imprisonment to a death sentence.

The proposed directive also elongates the rigorous imprisonment from 10 years to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child between 12 & 16 years of age. The term is also extendable to life imprisonment, and for the gang rape, the punishment goes to “imprisonment for the rest of life”.

For sexually assaulting a child above 16, the minimum punishment would go to rigorous imprisonment of 10 years, which earlier was seven years.

The proposed Directive introduces a 2-month deadline for investigation and trial in rape cases. It also directs a 6-month time-limit for the disposal of petitions in sexual assault cases.

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