What is "The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018"

The Parliament of India passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the bill seeks to award the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12".

Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance - 2018 was promulgated in April, following an outcry over the rape and murder of a minor girl at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of a woman at Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, the bill now replace this ordinance.

What is The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 stipulates a minimum jail term of 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence, for the rape of a girl under 12 years. While perpetrators involved in the gang-rape of a girl below 12 years of age will get life imprisonment or death.

The minimum punishment for convicts of rape of women is also increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years.

Under the bill the imprisonment for convicts of rape of women aged between 12-16 is increased from 10 to 20 years and it is extendable to life imprisonment, while convict of gang rape for same age group will get a life imprisonment.

As per the bill only a woman judge will hear the rape case and a woman police officer will record the statement of rape victims.

The bill also provides for setting up fast-track special courts to exclusively deal with rape cases, a six-month time limit is also provisioned under the bill for disposal of appeals in rape cases.

Way ahead
While increasing punishments for crimes against girls is a welcome step, the government should formulate policies for crimes against boys as well.

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