Krishna Tirath wants death sentence for rape



New Delhi: Laws should be amended to include death as a punishment for rape in cases where after the crime the victim "is no longer able to enjoy a normal state of existence and functioning", Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said today.

"Regarding punishment for rape, mixed views have been emerging ranging from chemical castration to death penalty. I feel that if death penalty becomes the norm, this may reduce conviction rate," Tirath told a conference here of chief secretaries and DGPs convened in the wake gruesome Delhi gang-rape incident.

"This may cause even more burden to rape survivor. However, cases of rape where the survivor is no longer able to enjoy a normal state of existence and functioning should definitely have a provision for death penalty," Tirath said, urging the Home Ministry to make the laws relating to crime against women stricter.

She said that chemical castration was not a practical option since it required continuous administration of necessary medication.

Crimes under Section 354 IPC (outraging the modesty of a woman), which include element of criminal force, should be made non-bailable, the Minister suggested.

She said that recent incidents of violence against women had created a growing concern regarding their security and priority should be given to address issues at the highest level.

Incidents of teasing and stalking should not be seen as normal behaviour and instead should be dealt with severely, the Minister said, asking the Home Ministry to take into consideration crimes such as these in the new amendment bill regarding IPC which is under preparation.

PTI