President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday approved an ordinance to provide death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below age 12 years besides clearing another ordinance to confiscate property of fugitive economic offenders.
In the wake of outrage over the brutal rape and murder of a minor in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir, the Union Cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance to allow courts to pronounce the death penalty + to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
The criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes to death.
The development puts in place a number of measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases including a two-month time limit for investigation, two months for completion of trial and six months for disposal of appeals.
There will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
Kovind also promulgated The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, which followed the Punjab National Bank fraud case, in which the main accused, diamond trader Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, fled the country after duping banks to the tune of over Rs 30,000 crore.
The ordinance would provide for attachment and confiscation of the properties of the economic offenders in a bid to bring back defaulters of huge bank loans who flee abroad.