The President of India has promulgated The Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018, which enhances the punishment in the Child Rape cases, by amending the provisions of Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Vide present amendment in Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code: Minimum Punishment for rape has been enhanced to Ten years from seven years and Maximum punishment remains life imprisonment. Further new clause (3) has also been added to Section 376, which prescribes the Minimum punishment of twenty years to a person committing rape on women under Sixteen years of age.
Moreover, Section 376 DA and 376 DB has been added in the Indian Penal Code which provides minimum punishment of life imprisonment for person involve in gang rape of woman aged less than 16 years and 12 years respectively.
Death penalty is also prescribed for persons involved in gang rape of a girl of age less than 12 years. It is also provided in these sections, that such fine shall be imposed which shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.
That Section 376 (2) (a), is also amended vide the present amendment bill, wherein the sentence “within the limits of the police stations to which such police officer is appointed” has been omitted, meaning thereby no matter where a Police Officer commits rape, he is to be punished with rigorous imprisonment of minimum ten years.
The Government of India vide said amendment also fixed the time period of 2 months for completing the investigation in the Rape Cases and Appeals in rape cases to be disposed within six months. Further, No anticipatory bail can be granted to a person accused of rape of girls of age less than six-teen years.
Vide present amendment bill, Section 42 of the POCSO Act has been also amended to include newly inserted IPC provisions Section 376AB, Section 376DA and Section 376DB. Further, Section 53A of the Evidence Act that deals with evidence of character or previous sexual experience no relevant in certain cases and Section 146 of the Evidence Act that deals with evidence of character or previous sexual experience not relevant in certain cases, has also been amended to include newly inserted IPC provisions Section 376AB, Section 376DA Section 376 DB.