The President has approved the ordinance to make the POSCO Act more stringent.
Here is what you need to know:
What is POSCO?
Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences
What are the amendments?
- Increase in minimum punishment from 7 to 10 years extendable to life imprisonment
- If the victim is under 16, minimum punishment has been increased to 20 years
- In case of gangrape of victim under 16, minimum punishment has been amended to a life term
- In case victim is under 12, minimum punishment has been increased to 20 years or life term or death penalty
Also, they are looking at a mechanism for speedy disposal of rape cases within six months. The Cabinet prescribed that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
What I feel
Obviously, this is a welcome step. However, I would like to clarify that while all headlines read ‘Death penalty for rape of a child below 12 years’, it is in fact ONE of the other punishments. It does not necessarily mean that rapist of a child below 12 years will be given a capital punishment, it could also be a life term or 20 years imprisonment.
I felt the punishment should have been death penalty irrespective of the age of the victim, and there should not have been any loophole. We have seen in cases that when it is at the discretion of the court, death penalty is usually not awarded. I remember the murder of a lawyer in her own flat by the security guard, who had attempted to rape her. The judge had not given him a death penalty because she felt it was not “rarest of the rare case”. The guy had stabbed the girl 16 times and slit her throat. Was that not enough for death penalty? I also read later that the accused had managed to jump parole but got arrested later. The judgment in this case had not just disappointed me, but disgusted me. Human right activists who have a problem with death penalty, please feel free to keep such demons in your house. You are free to adopt them, and take care of them and confine them within your house if you are so concerned about their rights. Please do not contaminate the society with their presence, and your stupidity.
Yes, I know this is a good step. But still, I am disappointed. This is not enough in my view. Please do share your views.