BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a bill that has provision to award death sentence to those found guilty of raping girls below 12-year age. The bill will now be sent to the President for his assent, before being enacted.
The state government has been mulling action to get rid of the infamous tag of being the ‘rape capital’ of India. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recent report, too has placed MP as the state with the maximum number of rape cases in the country.
Apprehending misuse of provisions of the new law and criticising the state government for bringing the bill in a haste because of alarming rise in cases of crime against women, the Congress still supported the bill.
Named as “Dand Vidhi (Madhya Pradesh Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2017”, it amended sections, 376 (a)(a) recommending death sentence or a minimum 14 years to life imprisonment for raping a girl aged 12 or less. In cases of gang-rape of minor under Section 376 (b)(a), the government recommended death penalty or minimum 20 years to life in jail.
For crimes registered under Section 493 (a), which includes rape by luring a woman for marriage, the state recommends three years of jail and heavy fine.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the bill gets Presidential assent.