The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday approved the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, on death penalty for those convicted of raping children below the age of 12.

Official sources said the government has taken serious note of rape incidents in various parts of the country.

“While expressing deep anguish over such incidents, it has been decided to devise a comprehensive response to deal with the situation,” they added.

In view of the urgency and seriousness of the issue, the Cabinet approved an ordinance to be promulgated to provide for stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of girls below 16 years age and below 12 years of age. 

Death penalty has been provided for rapists of girls below 12 years of age.  

The ordinance is aimed at effective deterrence against commission of rape and instilling a sense of security among women and especially young girls in the


It has also been decided to put in place a number of measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases.

Among the salient features of the ordinance is that the minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which shall mean imprisonment till that person’s natural life.

The punishment for gangrape of a girl under 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for rest of life of the convict.  

The ordinance provides for stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years, minimum 20 years’ imprisonment or imprisonment for rest of life or with death.

In case of gangrape of a girl below 12 years, punishment will be imprisonment for rest of life or death sentence.
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