The Centre on Saturday cleared the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 to make changes in the existing laws, allowing courts to award death penalty for rape of children below the age of 12.
The Ordinance will seek to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice CH Shankar, questioned the government while hearing an old public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activist Madhu Kishwar challenging the constitutional validity of the amendments in Section 375 (Rape) and 376 (Punishment for Rape) of the IPC.
The Bench questioned the government on whether they had done any research or analysis before deciding to amend the laws. The judges were also concerned about the consequences of the amendment stating that the criminals would want to kill the victim and destroy all evidence.
The Bench also enquired the government about educating the population and handling the roots of the problem.
The case will next be heard on September 10.
(With inputs from agencies)