NEW DELHI: Parliament on Monday passed a legislation prescribing stringent punishment, including death penalty, to those convicted of raping a girl below 12 years of age. The law replaces the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated on April 21, following an outcry over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of another woman at Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
The ministry of women and child development is processing a proposal to bring amendments to the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act 2012 to make it gender-neutral.
Replying to a debate, junior home minister Kiren Rijiju said the government brought the bill, as in the last few months, “heart-rending incidents of rape of underaged girls have taken place in the country”.
The deadline for the completion of trial in all rape cases will be two months. A six-month time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed. There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.