Initiatives to Prevent Rape Cases: Death Penalty for Rape of Children Below 12 Years (Download PDF)


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Union Cabinet approved ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age. Number of measures put in place for speedy investigation & trial of rape cases.

Image of Initiatives to Prevent Rape Cases

Image of Initiatives to Prevent Rape Cases

Image of Initiatives to Prevent Rape Cases

Salient Features of Ordinance

  • Criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend Indian Penal Code (IPC), Evidence Act, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) & Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.

  • Min. punishment for rape will now be life imprisonment as opposed to rigorous imprisonment of 7 - 10 years in past.

  • In case of rape of girl under 16 years, min. punishment is increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which shall mean imprisonment till that person’s natural life.

  • In case of rape of girl under 12 years, min. punishment is that of 20 years’ imprisonment, which can be increased to imprisonment for life or death penalty.

  • In ordinance, time limit for investigation as well as completion of trial of all cases of rape is prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within 2 months.

  • Duration of 6 months is prescribed for disposal of appeals in all rape cases.

Image of Indian penal code 233

Image of Indian Penal Code 233

Image of Indian penal code 233

Bail Restrictions in Amended

In ordinance approved by Union Cabinet, restrictions on bail are prescribed which are as follows:

  • No provision for anticipatory bail for person accused of rape or gang rape of girl under 16 years.

  • Court has to give notice of 15 days to public prosecutor & representative of victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of girl under 16 years of age.

Other Initiatives to Improve Capacity of Criminal Justice System to Deal W/Rape Cases

  • ​In order to give effect to legal provisions & to improve capacity of criminal justice system to deal w/rape cases, Cabinet has approved number of important measures which are as follows:

Strengthening the Courts and Prosecution

  • New Fast Track Courts will be set up in consultation w/states/UTs & High Courts.

  • Creation of new posts of public prosecutors & related infrastructure in consultation w/states/UTs.

  • Special forensic kits for rape cases to all police stations & hospitals.

  • Dedicated manpower will be provided for investigation of rape cases in time bound manner.

  • Setting up special forensic labs in each state/UT exclusively for rape cases.

  • These measures will form part of new mission mode project to be launched within 3 months.

National Database

  • National Crime Records Bureau will maintain national database & profile of sexual offenders.

  • This data will be regularly shared w/States/UTs for tracking, monitoring & investigation, including verification of antecedents by police.

Assistance to Victims

  • Present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to victim to be extended to all districts in country.


  • Ordinance today is best way to deal w/issue. Amendment bill will have to wait (till July) when Monsoon Session of Parliament commences. Ordinance will now be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

  • After December 2012 gang rape case in New Delhi, when criminal laws were amended, provision of death penalty in case woman either died or was left in “vegetative state” after rape was introduced thru ordinance which later became Criminal Law Amendment Act.

  • Decision by Modi cabinet comes against backdrop of rape & murder of 8-year-old in J&K’s Kathua district & alleged rape of minor in Unnao, among other instances.

- Published/Last Modified on: July 19, 2018

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