Making a distinction between minors and children below 10 years of age, the Supreme Court of India on Monday asked Parliament to enact separate laws to punish child-rapists with harsher penalties, and asked if castration was a fit punishment.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by the Supreme Court Women Lawyers' Association (SCWLA), which demanded that child-rapists be punished with castration.
The apex court bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, called sexual crimes against children and toddlers a "brutal perversion", The Hindu reported.
The court has also asked Parliament to redefine the word "child" for those under 10 years of age in the context of rape and sexual crimes.
"The pain and distress caused to a child, including infants as young as 28 days old, who knows nothing about sex and rape, is nothing but brutal perversion. When a society moves this way, it has to be stopped," the bench said.
The Supreme Court asked the Attorney General to check what the Centre's stand was on castration as punishment for child rape.
There have been increasing cases of rape of children as young as three or four years and even of infants.
In 2014, 89,423 cases of crimes against children were reported, more than double the 2012 figure of 38,172, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.