New Delhi: Ordinance which allows courts to award the death penalty to those convicted of sexually assaulting children up to 12 years of age also enhances the minimum sentence for rape from seven years to 10 years in jail.
The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. After the Nirbhaya case in December 2012, when the criminal laws were amended, the minimum sentence for raping a woman was kept at seven years of rigorous imprisonment which could be extended to life in jail.
According to the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018 approved by the Union Cabinet today, the minimum sentence for raping a woman will now be 10 years of rigorous imprisonment, “extendable to life imprisonment”. Life in jail means that the convict would not be released from prison till the end of his “natural life”.
Once the ordinance is promulgated, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act will stand amended to make way for new provisions.