Law and Order Current Affairs

Rajasthan passes bill for death penalty for child rape of girls below 12

Rajasthan Assembly has passed Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 by voice vote to amend Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 to add provisions providing for death penalty for those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below.

The bill will become a law after it gets Presidential assent. With this, Rajasthan became second state in the country after Madhya Pradesh approving death sentence for those convicted of such rapes.

Key facts

The Bill aims at protecting girl child by laying down deterrent punishment, including death sentence, to offenders of child rape of girls below 12. It inserts sections 376-AA and 376-DD in IPC, 1860. These sections provide, that whoever commits rape or gang-rape on a girl upto 12 years of age shall be punishable with death or rigorous imprisonment. The capital punishment under it will be not less than 14 years and 20 years respectively for sections and which may extend to imprisonment for life, which means imprisonment for remainder of offenders’ whole life, and with fine.

Background

According to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2016 report, cases of crimes against children have shown a steady rise in Rajasthan. The state has recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which is 3.8% of crimes against children (98,344) registered across country. It stands fourth in crime against women category. In 2015, the state had registered 3,689 cases of crime against children, increased by 345 in year under review. State police had registered 728 cases of child rape in 2015, which increased to 858 in 2016.

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Cabinet approves umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces

The Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) has approved implementation of umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) for years 2017 to 2020 to strengthen country’s law and order mechanism, modernise police forces and effectively fight against terrorism.

It is biggest ever internal security scheme in country. It has financial outlay of Rs.25,060 crore out of which Central Government share will be Rs.18,636 crore and states’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore.

Salient Features of Scheme

Special provision of scheme: It convers internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, upgradation of police wireless, logistics support, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, hiring of helicopters, E-prison project etc.

J&K, North Eastern and LWE States: Central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked specially for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism (LWE) affected States. It introduces Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts to tackle issue of underdevelopment in these districts. It has outlay of Rs.100 crore earmarked for North Eastern States for upgradation of police infrastructure, training institutes, investigation facilities etc.

Upgradation of Infrastructure: It introduces new initiatives to provide assistance to States for upgradation of police infrastructure, forensic science laboratories, institutions and equipment available with them to plug critical gaps in the criminal justice system.

Integration of Police Stations:  It will aid in integrating police stations to set up national data base of crime and criminals’ records. It will be linked with other pillars of criminal justice system such as ‘prisons, forensic science laboratories and prosecution offices.

Forensic science laboratories: It provides for setting up of state-of art forensic science laboratory in Amravati (Andhra Pradesh) and upgradation of Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter Terrorism and Anti Insurgency in Jaipur (Rajathan) and Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhi Nagar.

Comment

Implementation of this scheme will help to bolster Government’s ability to address challenges faced in different theatres such as areas affected by LWE, Jammu and Kashmir and North East effectively. It will also aid to undertake development interventions which will catalyze in improving quality of life in these areas and help combat these challenges effectively at same time. It is expected that, the scheme will go a long way to boost capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.

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