Centre for death to rapists of minors under 12

The Union government is likely to clear the women and child development (WCD) ministry’s proposal to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012 for handing down capital punishment to convicts of rape on a minor below 12 years on Saturday. PTI file photo

The Union government is likely to clear the women and child development (WCD) ministry’s proposal to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012 for handing down capital punishment to convicts of rape on a minor below 12 years on Saturday.

Since Parliament is not in session and the government is keen that the amended law is implemented immediately, there is also a possibility of the government taking the ordinance route to enforce the provision with immediate effect.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet has been convened to take up this proposal along with other issues on the agenda.

The move is significant as it comes at a time when the government faces flak over the issue of a spate of rape cases of minors that have been reported from across the country.

The incident of the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir has led to a nationwide outrage while the rape case against a BJP MLA in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh has also put the BJP in an embarrassing situation.

The WCD ministry has proposed to amend the Pocso Act, 2012 “for introducing the death penalty for the abuser in the cases of aggravated sexual assault against children”.

Meanwhile, the government told the Supreme Court that it was in the process of bringing in an amendment to the Pocso Act for handing down “a maximum punishment of death penalty” for the offence of rape of children below 12 years under the law.

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