New Delhi: In a letter submitted in Supreme Court in response to a PIL filed, the Centre on Friday informed that the process to amend POSCO Act to ensure death penalty in child rape cases has begun.
In the wake of recent rape incidents involving minors, there has been a strong call for maximum punishment for the guilty. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and BJP MP Hema Malini have, in particular, called for the guilty to be ' hanged to death.' The Centre has now said that the required amendments are being worked upon to ensure those who rape children below 12 years of age are given the death penalty.
While there is no provision in the POSCO act currently which allows capital punishment, gruesome rape incidents in Kathua and Unnao revived the call for appropriate changes being made. While Maneka Gandhi said she was 'deeply, deeply disturbed', Hema Malini had backed her demand for death penalty and has said 'animals who don't even spare babies and toddlers' deserve to be hanged.
It is widely agreed upon that a death sentence can act as a strong deterrent for heinous crimes like rape - including child rape. At present, the guilty can be given a maximum of life imprisonment for penetrative sexual assault as well aggravated penetrative sexual assault.