Jaipur, March 9: A day after the whole country pledged to empower women on the occasion of International Women Day, on Friday Rajasthan passed the amendment bill for the death penalty for the culprits in the rape cases involving girls below 12 years of age. Notably, Rajasthan has now become the second state after Madhya Pradesh to pass the bill.
Rajasthan State Assembly gave a green flag to the amendment bill for the death penalty for the culprits in the rape cases involving girls below 12 years of age. The Rajasthan government led by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje tabled the bill on Tuesday this week.
However, the move comes a month after state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced to bring more stringent punishment including the death penalty for the rape of girls below 12 years during a budget session.
The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, seeks to add section 376-AA in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which will be defined as, “Punishment for rape on a woman up to twelve years of age. Whoever commits rape on a woman up to twelve years of age shall be punished with death, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine”.
A similar provision, 376-DD, will be added for gangrape. In the ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ for bringing in the Bill, the government said, “It has come to the notice of the State Government that the offence relating to child rape and child gang-rape are taking place every now and then. Such crimes are heinous and turn the life of the victim into hell.”
The statement added, “It is the prime duty of the society and the State to protect its offspring against all odds and give them an environment conducive to their mental and physical development. Therefore, such offences need to be dealt with an iron hand. The State Government is of the considered view that to protect the girl child up to twelve years of age from such heinous crimes, a deterrent punishment which may extend to the death of the offender should be provided for.”
In the month of December last year, Madhya Pradesh government gave a green flag to the proposal of giving death sentence to the guilty of raping girls aged 12 or below years in the state along with Rs 1 lakh fine. On the other side, Haryana cabinet had given a nod to similar amendments in IPC last month.