In the previous month news of child rape cases were all over the media. While the government took a step further and promulgated an ordinance of the death penalty for those who would be pronounced guilty of raping a child below 12 years, the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA) came up with another brilliant idea. They made a representation to the Prime Minister’s Office, describing the proposal of chemical castration as an additional punishment for the child rapists.
“Definition of the child must include both small girls and boys between the age group of 0-10 years. Because in the recent past there have been uncountable incidents where small boys have been sexually exploited and raped and have suffered untold pain and agony,” SCWLA had mentioned in their representation.
The representation got forwarded to the Union women and child development secretary by the PMO.
“….Reply may be sent to the petitioner and a copy of the same may be uploaded on the portal,” reads the April 26 communication between PMO and the ministry. The PMO also directed the ministry to take pertinent action.
“Though, following the ordinance, courts can pronounce death penalty on those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12, an additional punishment of chemical castration will act as a deterrent,” said senior advocate and SCWLA president Mahalakshmi Pavani to the Hindustan Times.
Chemical castration is a process which reduces the sexual activity of a person with the help of injecting anaphrodisiac drugs and hence the person doesn’t get an arousal and feels a reduced sex drive. But it is considered to be reversible when treatment is discontinued. Unlike surgical castration, where the gonads are removed through an incision in the body, chemical castration does not remove organs, nor is it a form of sterilization.
In the year 2012, the Madras High Court proposed the Centre chemical castration as a punishment for the rapists, after Nirbhaya gang-rape case. But their demand went unheard by the Justice Verma Committee, as they found it unconstitutional and inhuman.
The recent representation by the SCWLA was a fallout of the brutal rape case of Kathua girl, 8-year-old Asifa Bano.