Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has signed an ordinance that allows stringent punishments for sexual violence against children, including the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years.
The Indian government had passed the ordinance on Saturday, facing public anger over recent cases of rape of young girls.
An 8-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in the state of Jammu and Kashmir while in Uttar Pradesh a 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by a ruling party lawmaker, triggering nationwide outrage and protests.
The ordinance was signed into law by President Kovind and an official notification to the effect was published on the government gazette on Sunday. It will be valid for six months, during which it has to be ratified by parliament.
The new law introduces the maximum punishment of the death penalty for those who rape children under 12 years. Under the earlier law, the maximum punishment for child rape was life in prison. The minimum punishment is a 20-year jail term or life imprisonment.
Minimum prison sentences for rape against girls under the age of 16 and women have also been raised. The government has also laid down measures for speedy investigation of rape, stipulating that probes have to be completed within two months.
Several thousand people joined rallies and demonstrations in India in the recent days, protesting the cases of rape of young girls. Four more rapes and murders of young girls were reported from Indian cities last week adding to the public anger.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
India's Modi sees Kerala's plight as flood death toll climbs
Woman gives birth after helicopter rescue from India floods
Vajpayee cremated with state honours
Worst floods in a century kill 324 in Kerala, thousands still trapped
Malik leads protest in support of Article 35A
HC reserves order on Ilyasi’s appeal
India pays tribute to popular former premier Vajpayee
Kerala flood toll soars to 164, rescue work stepped up
Situation ‘extremely grave,’ says Kerala CM as toll rises to 106