The country’s hope for justice was accomplished on July 30, 2018 when the Lok Sabha passed the historic Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018. This Bill is the result of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance which was promulgated on April 21, 2018.
Three months after the Unnao rape case, the Lok Sabha has finally taken an active decision to tackle perpetrators for sexually violating women and minors.
The Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2018 was passed by voice vote, it was supported by many political parties except TMC, RSP and AIMIM and few others; they objected to the Government on the adoption of the ordinance route to enact this law.
This Bill provides the death penalty for those accused of raping girls below the age of 12. It aims at providing safety to minor girls. The Bill provides an increment in the rigorous punishment of jail with the minimum of 10 years from 7 years, it would be extended into lifetime imprisonment, or sentenced to death.
Gangrape of a girl below 12 years of age invites jail, life imprisonment or death sentence in case of the rape victim being under the age of 16 years The minimum increment in the punishment policy is now 20 years. It is extendable to life imprisonment or death and the punishment for gangrape accused at the same age group will be the lifetime imprisonment or death.
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The existing Indian Penal Code provides punishment to those convicted of raping a woman, but there was no provision for rape or gangrape of minor girls below 16 or 12 years of age.
The Criminal Law Amendment Bill provides a hope for a safer future for women. This is for a particular age group which is below 16, it means that if we specified the justice for a particular age group then we have automatically limited the length of justice because there is no any provision for those girls who above 18 years.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 40,000 women are raped every year and 18,000 of them were minors. But what about those 2100 raped victims?
Finally, the government has acknowledged the heightening of this heinous crime. But it is not the ultimate solution because there is no punishment for rape of boys and rape done by boys (below 16); this has remained unchanged. If a boy (minor) raped a woman four-times older than him, would be possible that the same punishment will be given to him?