A ray of hope seems to approach from the amendment bill passed by the Rajasthan legislature granting death penalty to the men raping girl child below the age of 12 years. Gulab Chand Kataria, the state Home Minister took the initiative of introducing the Criminal Law Bill, 2018 in the assembly yesterday which was followed by a heated debate amongst the ministers. It then was concluded by adding up the section 376-AA and 376-DD for gang rape in the Indian Penal Code [IPC].

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The section 376-AA read, “Punishment for rape on a woman up to twelve years of age. Whoever commits rape on a woman up to twelve years of age shall be punished with death, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine,” as being reportedly defined by the Zee News.

The Home Minister has been reported as saying that the amendments aim to imprison the criminals for life sentence and life imprisonment, raping girls less than the age of 12 years. They shall also try to make sure that the convict isn’t granted the bail even after completion of 14 years in jail.

“We have made two amendments in the case. Added life sentence and life imprisonment for convicts in offenses against girls below 12 years of age, also made a provision that convict can’t leave the prison for life even after completing 14 years of sentence,” said the Home Minister to the Time of India.

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Rajasthan becomes the second state enforcing a strong punishment for child rape, granting the death penalty after Madhya Pradesh. The state legislature passed the Penal Law Bill, 2017 last December becoming the first state to make the above amendments. Haryana cabinet seems to give a green flag to the same amendments last month.

Changes brought by the respective governments is an intimation of dawn to a new day. All we could hope is the nation recognizes the serious need of amending the constitutional laws against rape and molestation case as it is just not a mark on the dignity of the victim but on the nation.

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