Press Trust of india

Maneka Gandhi proposes death penalty for rape of children below 12 years

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New Delhi, Apr 13 :  Disturbed over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in the Jammu region, Union minister Maneka Gandhi has asked her department to work on a proposal to amend the POCSO law to bring in the provision of death penalty for the rape of a minor below the age of 12 years.

In the present Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, there is no provision for capital punishment with the maximum sentence being life imprisonment for penetrative sexual assault as well aggravated penetrative sexual assault.

The Women and Children Development (WCD) minister has now proposed that rape of any child below the age of 12 years could lead to the death penalty, WCD officials said.

“I have been deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua and all the recent rape cases that have happened on children. I and the (women and child development) ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO Act asking for death penalty for rape of children below 12 years,” Maneka Gandhi was heard saying in a video, which was uploaded on Twitter.

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