On Monday, the Lok Sabha passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that grants the judiciary system of India power to award death sentence to child rape convicts and enhances the minimum punishment for rape of a woman from 7 to 10 years.

In the wake of uncountable number of rape cases occurring in India, the Lok Sabha has passed a Bill that tightens punishment provisions to the criminals of rape and especially child rape. On Monday, Lok Sabha passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that amends the IPC, CrPC, Indian Evidence Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The Bill includes death sentence as the maximum punishment for any convict who are involved in rape of child below the age of 12 and will replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on April 21 in the wake of Kathua rape case.

Also, since there was no provisions in the Criminal Act for girls aging between 12 to 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life – which essentially means until natural death. For gang rape of a girl below 12, the punishment will be life imprisonment or death and similar case for a girl below 16, the punishment will be life imprisonment. The Bill also includes enhancement of the minimum punishment for rape of woman by three years, making it 10 years from current punishment of 7 years.

Besides extending the years of punishment and intensifying the death sentence provisions, the Bill also provides support for investigation of rape cases within two months from the registration of an FIR. Also, disposal of any appeal by the convict will required to be conducted within 6 months, by the lower case and Bill also wiped out any provision for anticipatory bail in the case of rape of a girl below 16. The new to-be act will ensure that “character” of any victim will not be relevant for any questions asked during procurement of the case and it will be fast tracked to provide justice to the victims.

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