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Bill for stringent punishment in rape cases introduced in Lok Sabha

A bill that provides for stringent punishment, including death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years, was introduced in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was introduced by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. It seeks to replace an ordinance brought by the government in April.

The bill provides that the minimum punishment for rape of woman under 16 years will be rigorous imprisonment for at least 20 years which can extend to life. The punishment for gang-rape of a girl below 16 years will be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.

Read Also, Death Penalty Ordinance for raping a child not linked to Kathua

The punishment for rape of a woman aged under 12 years will be rigorous imprisonment of at least 20 years but may extend to imprisonment for life or death. Gang-rape of a girl under 12 years of age will lead to punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death.

The minimum punishment in case of rape of woman has been increased from seven years to 10 years, extendable to imprisonment for life. Under the new law, there will a two-month time limit for completion of investigation of rape cases.

The Bill says that inquiry or trial shall be completed in two months and appeals in rape cases should be disposed of in six months. There is no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang-rape of a girl under 16 years of age.