Jammu and Kashmir Governor Narinder Nath Vohra has approved an ordinance for death penalty to child rapists. Vohra has promulgated the "Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018" and the "Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018."
In the wake of rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua and the surge in the number of crimes against women across India, including J&K, there was a need to carry out amendments to the existing criminal laws, an official spokesperson told Greater Kashmir.
Based on the analogy of the amendments made in the Central Criminal Law in 2018, the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, seeks to carry out amendments in the following criminal laws:
- Ranbir Penal Code, Samvat, 1989
- Code of Criminal Procedure Samvat 1989
- Evidence Act, Samvat, 1977
Here are the salient features of the ordinance approved by J&K Governor Vohra --
- Those committing rape or gang rape of a girl under the age of 16 will be punished with rigorous imprisonment for 20 years. This may also be extended to a life sentence.
- Those committing rape or gang rape of a girl under the age of 12 will be punished with a death penalty.
- The investigations in rape cases should be completed with a time period of two months.
- The trial for cases should be completed within a time period of six months and if there are any delays, then the High Court should be made aware of the reason.
- Those committing such crime shall not be granted without hearing the Public Prosecutor.
The Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018, has provisions for child-friendly procedures and reporting, recording of evidence, the trial of offenses and investigation. It contains provisions for establishing a Special court for speedy trial of such cases. The ordinance also makes it compulsory for educational institutions to ensure the safety of children and not to be exposed to any kind of sexual abuse.
"While according to the approval of the two aforesaid ordinances, the Governor has advised stringent enforcement by the Home Department which should establish a system for regular monitoring of all cases registered under these Ordinances," the spokesman was quoted as saying by Greater Kashmir.
The gang-rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua brought the entire nation, usually divided by religion, caste and creed, together in protest. The girl was gang-raped for days and brutally murdered on January 13.