New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday constituted a five-member committee to examine the punishment and death sentencing awarded in the sexual harassment cases.
The court was hearing a plea challenging the Criminal Law (Amendment), 2018 bill that proposes stringent punishment for raping a child under 12 years of age. Next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 16.
On Monday, the bill was passed in Lok Sabha following which it was passed, replacing the Criminal Law Ordinance, promulgated on April 21. The bill will strengthen the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed to enhance the punishment awarded for raping girl children of all three age categories- under 12 years of age, between the age group of 12 and 16 and between the age group of 16 and 18.
As per the bill, the culprit will get a minimum punishment of 20 years jail term, up from 10 years previously for raping a girl under 12 years of age. The maximum punishment, in this case, is death penalty.
The minimum punishment for gang-raping child under 12 is life sentence, which earlier was 20 years, while the maximum is the death penalty.
In cases of rape of a child aged between 12 and 16, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years. The maximum punishment, in this case, is life imprisonment. In cases of gang-rape of a child between this age group, the minimum punishment is life sentence.
If the victim is aged between 16 and 18, the offence of rape is punishable with the minimum punishment of 10-year jail term and the maximum is life imprisonment.
The cabinet also decided to put in place a number of measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases. It has also provided for a six-month time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases. (ANI)