High Court questions government on ordinance linked to death penalty for child rapists

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 23, 2018, 07.10 PM(IST)

File photo: Delhi High Court. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The Court also said whether the victims were asked as the Ordinance was being drawn up.

The Delhi High Court today questioned the Centre's ordinance on awarding death penalty to those found guilty of raping a girl aged below 12.

The Cabinet had on Saturday passed an Ordinance which proposed punishments ranging from 20 years life term to death for rape of girls under the age of 12 which was approved by President Kovind.

"Did you carry out any study, any scientific assessment that death penalty is a deterrent to rape? Have you thought of the consequences to the victim? How many offenders would allow their victims to survive now that rape and murder have the same punishment," the bench asked the government today.

The Court questioned the government during the hearing of a PIL which is seeking to do away with amendments in rape law after the December, 2012 rape of a girl in Delhi, the petitioner claims the amendments are being abused.

The High Court said the government was "not even looking at the root cause" or "educating people" as the offenders are often found below the age of 18 and are mainly someone from the family or known to them.

The Court also asked the government whether the victims' views were taken while Ordinance was being drawn up.

The government's move on Saturday came after nationwide outrage over the Kathua and Unno rape cases in J&K and Uttar Pradesh which led to widespread protests with political parties and civil society gathering to call for stern action against the guilty.