J&K Governor Promulgates Ordinance On Death Penalty For Rape Of Girls Under 12 Years Of Age [Read Salient Features]
Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Mr. Governor N. N. Vohra has promulgated two Ordinances prescribing stricter penalties for child rapists.
As per an official release, the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 were promulgated "in view of the surge in violence against women in general and sexual violence in particular in various parts of the country, including the State of J&K".
The release lists the following as the salient features of the Amendment Ordinance:
- Committing Rape on a woman under sixteen years of age has been made punishable with rigorous imprisonment for twenty years and may extend to life sentence, which shall mean remainder of that person’s natural life;
- Committing Rape on a woman under twelve years of age has been made punishable with death sentence;
- Gang Rape on a woman under sixteen years of age has been made punishable with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life;
- Gang Rape on woman under twelve years of age has been made punishable with death sentence;
- Investigation in such cases is to be completed within a period of two months;
- Trial to be completed within six months and reasons for any delay shall need to be communicated to the High Court; and
- It has been provided that no Bail shall be granted without hearing the Public Prosecutor.
The salient features of the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 have been listed as follows:
- It inter-alia provides for protection of Children from offenses of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest of the child and the well being of a child at every stage of the judicial process;
- It provides for alternative punishment for an act or omission constituting an offence under the Ordinance and also under various provisions of the State Penal Code relating to sexual assault.
- The Ordinance contains provisions relating to child friendly procedures and reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences;
- It also provides for provisions relating to establishment of Special Courts for speedy trial of such offences; and
- It makes it mandatory for the educational institutions to ensure safety and protection of children and not to expose them to any kind of sexual abuse.