The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance to award death penalty to those convicted of raping a child under 12 years of age, a move that is seen as an effort to signal the government’s commitment to fight rising sexual crimes against young girls. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 would be part of this amendment.
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) April 21, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called an urgent Cabinet meeting at his official residence to discuss the issue of rape of young girls following national outrage over the recent horrific rapes and murders of minors in the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao and Jammu & Kashmir’s Kathua.
The government informed the Supreme Court on Friday that it is actively considering amending the POCSO Act to award death penalty to child rapists.
On 16 March 2018, Arunachal Pradesh became the fourth state in the country to pass a legislation approving the death penalty for rape of children below 12 years. Other BJP-ruled states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana have already passed similar legislations providing for death penalty to child rape.