SC seeks stricter action for child rape

SC seeks stricter action for child rape

SC seeks stricter action for child rape

The Supreme Court on Monday suggested that Parliament  make stricter penal provision for those who rape a child.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana also favoured for making a definition of a child in view of recent incidents of sexual assault with children in society.

The court, however, refused to allow a plea by SC Women Lawyers Association for issuing a direction to the Centre to consider imposing castration as an additional punishment for child sex abusers and child rapists.

Appearing for petitioner association, senior advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani submitted that castration should be considered as punishment for those committing sexual assault with children, as young from 28 days to 15 year olds as seen in recent incidents in Uttar Pradesh.

She said different countries like South Korea and several states in the US have adopted such stringent punishment.

She urged the court to consider passing guidelines in child sexual assault as was done by the court in issuing Vishakha guidelines to deal with sexual harassment at work place.
The court, however, was not impressed, saying, “It is in the realm of the Legislature.

Why should the court intervene? Can a court provide specific punishment?” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was called to give his views, said court should not issue any direction for passing specific punishment as it is in the wisdom of the Legislature only.

Rohatgi said: “Punishment sought by petitioner is more due to passion rather than rational thinking.” Rohatgi also submitted that there may be a case of carving a specific punishment in the case of sexual assault of girl child. Agreeing to his view, the court said a child stood on a different footing than a woman below 16 years of age as defined under Section 376 of the IPC.

“...Parliament may think of rigorous punishment for child rape,” the bench said, disposing of the petition.