This year the nation suffered from some gloomy days and it has become a rebel due to the numerous rape case taking place.  It was not just the recent case of the eight-year-old Kathua victim, that made everyone cringe in disgust, other instances, such as in Surat where a nine-year-old, apparently a victim of traffickers, was raped and killed, added urgency to the government’s actions. Also, there were two more cases of minors being raped and murdered at weddings in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district that outraged the nation. There were multiples of protest for the sexual violence against women, people started demanding justice that shook the Government.

After ages, it seems the government is back with some action for this particular chapter.

The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which shall mean imprisonment till that person’s natural life. The punishment for gang rape of a girl under 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for rest of life of the convict.

Official sources said in New Delhi that the criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death. Presently under the POCSO Act, the maximum punishment for aggravated assault on minors is life in jail. The minimum sentence is seven years in jail.

This move comes on the same day as the news of the rape and murder of a four-month-old child in Indore. The ordinance will now have to be replaced with an amendment bill in Parliament within the next six months.

Here is how people reacted to the news

 

Taking one step further, Maneka Gandhi, the Union minister for Women and Child Development, was the first cabinet minister to propose the changes last week. The proposal was then made by the Home Ministry on Saturday. The ordinance was signed within hours of PM Modi’s return from his recent foreign tour. Yesterday, in a letter submitted to the Supreme Court, the government had said that it had started the process to amend the POCSO Act.

Indian government has finally added some color to the gloomy days. We hope that these steps hail as a milestone in the coming future and flushes all the perpetrator out of the nation giving hope to our daughters who are horrified to step out of their home.

 

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