In view of nationwide protests over Unnao and Kathua incidents, the Narendra Modi government has signed off an ordinance, introducing capital punishment for child rapists. The NDA government was basically waiting for PM Narendra Modi to come back. As per the ordinance, the minimum jail term for rapists has been raised to 10 years whereas those convicted of rape of a girl below 16 years will be sentenced for a minimum of 20 years. Importantly enough, the ordinance categorically mentions the rape probes and trials cannot take more than two months time. In other words, there won’t be any unwanted delay in the trials.
Death penalty recommendation for rapists has been going around for so many years. The horror of Kathua and Unnao rape cases did cater to a general consensus in introducing such for child rapists. Maneka Gandhi, who is the Union Minister for women and child development also called for such a week back. The gang rape of Nirbhaya aka Jyoti Singh Pandey also sparked such call but there was opposition to death sentence from several quarters. Interestingly, the Modi government was not particularly keen on introducing such even at the beginning of this year when the law officer representing the NDA government remarked in January, “The death penalty is not the answer the everything.”
The pseudo socialists and left liberals of India are now showing their outrage against death sentence from purely political perspective. Only a few days back, most of them were criticizing the government for existing law and order situation which they considered to be pivotal in those horrific incidents of rape or killing. It comes as no surprise though to have such opposition from them. Anyhow one can hope that stricter laws can have deeper impact on potential rapists. There is no denying the fact that no specific law can stop such incident rather various social aspects are associated with it.