The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
The criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.
The ordinance will now have to be replaced with an amendment bill in Parliament within the next six months.
The move comes against the backdrop of the rape and murder of minor girls in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and Gujarat’s Surat district recently.
But even while the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was meeting on Saturday morning to discuss the issue, the rape and murder of a four-month-old infant in Indore sent fresh shockwaves across the country.
The ordinance was signed within hours of Modi’s return from his five-day foreign tour.
The Cabinet also reportedly cleared the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Ordinance, which will let the government confiscate pthe roperty of economic offenders who flee the country.