JK mulls capital punishment for rape

Death Sentence To Be Also Considered For Acid Attacks: AG


Srinagar, Jan 2: Jammu and Kashmir is contemplating to modify the existing laws against rape in the state to incorporate capital punishment for sexual offence against women.
The state government also plans to amend the existing laws to ensure that sexual offender/s don’t get bail and the trial is completed within four months to ensure speedy justice. A government panel headed by the Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar, with Law Secretary and Advocate General as members have sought opinion from judicial experts and legal authorities at Kashmir and Jammu Universities before a bill is drafted to amend the existing laws.
“For offences like rape of a minor and gang-rape, the proposal is that the accused should be awarded capital punishment. This punishment should be also awarded in acid throwing incidents on girls because victim’s life gets destroyed,” Advocate General, Muhammad Ishaq Qadri told Greater Kashmir.
For rape offences other than those of minor and gang-rapes, the punishment could range from 10 years to life sentence. “Life imprisonment means death in jail,” Qadri said. However, he said the proposal on amending the substantive law, Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and procedural laws like Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act would be finalized only after the panel receives expert opinion.
“We want to make laws related to rape and sexual offences more stringent than the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Narcotic Drugs Prevention Act,” Qadri said.
Following directions from the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, Sagar earlier this week held a meeting to review the laws relating to rape.
The meeting decided that very effective and stringent provisions were needed to be incorporated in the law relating to sexual offences to make it deterrent. Sagar said the government wants to make the laws “more comprehensive” to ensure there are no loopholes.
The government move comes at a time when there is an outcry for harsher punishment and speedier justice in rape cases in wake of the gang-rape of a medical student in New Delhi last month and her subsequent death.
Kashmir also witnessed protests by students and civil society members against the Delhi incident.
As per the proposal, investigation in rape offences would be completed in two months and the trial in four months. A woman investigator would be part of the investigating team.
The proposal includes that victim’s statement should be recorded only once in presence of the magistrate and supported by the medical report which should be admissible during the trial. And trial of the cases should be held on weekly basis.
“The aim is to ensure there is no harassment to the victim during trial,” Qadri said.
A panel of special prosecutors would be available for the victim for pleading her case.
The Government proposal also includes setting up fast track Courts of sessions’ judge in every district to expeditiously deal with the rape cases.
An official said amendments in the existing laws in the state would take in consideration domestic violence against women and harassment faced by females in work places.
Once the proposal is formulated it will be placed before the cabinet for approval before tabling it in the Assembly for amending the existing laws.
On Tuesday Tamil Nadu became the first State to unveil an action plan for curbing sexual offences against women.
In a 13-point plan, the TM Chief Minister Jayalalithaa mooted severe punishments like death penalty and chemical castration for sexual offenders.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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