Mumbai: Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a bill awarding death to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below. Madhya Pradesh becomes the first state in the country where those convicted of such rapes will face the gallows.
The move comes after the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet approved the bill last week. Called Dand Vidhi (Madhya Pradesh Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2017, the bill will be sent to the Centre and will need the assent of the President to become a law.
The development comes after the latest NCRB report revealed that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country. The bill proposes death penalty or a minimum term of 14-year rigorous imprisonment or life imprisonment till death for raping girls aged 12 or less. The minimum punishment increases to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for gang rape of girls aged 12 or less.
The bill also proposes punishment for disrobing, stalking or sex on the pretext of marriage. The jail term increases for second or subsequent offences. The bill proposes terms ranging between three and seven years for harassment (first offence). For second and subsequent offences, the minimum jail term will be seven to 10 years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Stalking will invite jail term of three years for the first offence.