The Haryana Assembly unanimously passed Criminal Law (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2018 providing for death penalty for convicts found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years or less. With this, Haryana became third state, after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to have provision of capital punishment for such sexual offenders.
Key Features of Bill
The Bill amends Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
It inserts section 376-AA in IPC. It provides punishment of death or rigorous imprisonment of not less than 14 years in case of rape of girl up to 12 years of age. This punishment may extend to imprisonment for life that is for remainder period of person’s natural life.
It also inserts section 376-D in IPC. Under it, if girl upto 12 years of age is raped by one or more persons constituting group, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed offence of rape and will be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment for term which will not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life along with fine.
It also makes existing criminal laws related to other sexual offences more stringent. The punishment under Section 354 of IPC (Assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty) will not be less than 2 years (earlier not less than 1 year) but may extend up to 7 years (earlier up to 5 years).