India is going to see crimes against women more seriously. Ordinance issuance by the President is not a daily affair you see in India, but this time an Ordinance with provisions for stronger punishments for rape is all set to be promulgated by Indian President.
Death penalty for rape in the rarest of rare cases
Justice Verma, Justice (retd) Leila Seth and former solicitor general Gopal Subramanian – the commission appointed to look into laws relating to sex offences in the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape – completed their report (630 pages) within a short period of 30 days. The ordinance to be promulgated is based on the recommendations of the Justice Verma committee report, but the cabinet has included trial for death penalty if the rape victim dies – a clause which was not there in Justice Varma Committee report.
Key points in Justice Varma Committee report
- The panel has recommended enhanced punishment of imprisonment up to 20 years for rape.
- Life term for gang rape and murder.
- Crimes like stalking, disrobing a woman and voyeurism be treated as new offences with stringent punishment.
- The committee has also recommended broadening the definition of rape.
- Woman’s right to equality.
- No lowering of Juvenile age.
Considering the urgency in this matter and the media attention in this issue, government is not waiting for parliament to meet and discuss the provisions to make these recommendations into a law. Cabinet has recommended to the President of India, an ordinance on amending the criminal law.
Maximum validity of an Ordinance is 6 months and 6 weeks, before parliament needs to make a law.