Chandigarh, June 27: The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved the death penalty for males held guilty of the rape of a girl younger than 12 years. The Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, decided to extend to the state two major ordinances, relating to cases involving rapes and fugitive economic offenders, recently promulgated by the Central government. “The meeting approved republication of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 (Ordinance No 2 of 2018), promulgated by the Government of India to make the law on rape more stringent,” a state government spokesman said here.
Besides the death penalty for the rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance amends the Indian Penal Code to provide for enhancement of minimum punishment for rape from the existing seven to 10 years. The minimum punishment for the rape of a girl younger than 16 years has been fixed at life imprisonment, as against the earlier provision of 20 years of rigorous imprisonment, extendable to imprisonment for the rest of the convict’s life. The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has also been amended under the ordinance to ensure mandatory completion of investigation in rape cases within two months. The trial in rape cases is also required to be completed in two months, with a total limit of six months fixed for disposal of appeals in all rape cases, the spokesman said. (IANS)