Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018: Government takes measure only after huge public protest and media coverage of like Nirbhaya, Kathua and Unnao rape cases

As per the National Crime Report Bureau (NCRB) data, there were 82% increase in rape case in 2016 as compared to 2015. For almost two years government and its machinery were in sleeping mode. Only after Kathua and Unnao rape case, after huge media coverage nation wide, woke them up and prompted to take some measures. India always awake late, e.g, “penetrative sexual assault”, “sexual assault” and “sexual harassment” were first time defined in POSCO Act, 2012.

Government has approved to promulgate the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. This will bring amendment in Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Indian Evidence Act.

The amendments provide for stringent punishment of a jail term of minimum 20 years (before 10 years) or life imprisonment or death for rape of a girl under 12 years etc.. Also to improve the capacity of the judicial system, the government plans to set up new fast track courts, special forensic labs exclusively for rape cases, forensic kits for rape cases at all police stations and hospitals and dedicated manpower for investigation of such cases. This will be done within three months on a “mission mode”.

Before this case, Criminal Law was promulgated after Nirbhya case and later was passed in RS and LS in Apr, 2013.

Hope this will bring deterrence in people and will restrain them committing such heinous crime. Also amendment will help speedy trial and closure of the case.

References:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/union-cabinet-approves-ordinance-for-death-penalty-for-rape-of-girls-under-12-years/article23626717.ece

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/ncrb-data-2016-huge-spike-in-rape-of-children-up-by-82-from-2015-up-mp-worst-states-tamil-nadu-new-entrant-4962477/

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=113750

3 thoughts on “Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018: Government takes measure only after huge public protest and media coverage of like Nirbhaya, Kathua and Unnao rape cases

  1. Anvick Post author

    The ordinance after cabinet approval has been promulgated by president Ram Nath Kovind on 22 Apr 2018. The the ordinance has to passed in both the houses of parliament within 6 weeks from the date when next session of parliament starts.
    During this period, Parliament can either pass the ordinance turning it into an Act or disapprove the ordinance. If the ordinance is not passed by Parliament, it can be re-promulgated or re-issued by the President (meaning government). There is no limit on how many times an ordinance can be re-issued but as per ruling of the Supreme Court, it cannot be re-promulgated endlessly without getting it to vote in the Parliament or Legislature.

    The President can during this period, at any time, withdraw the ordinance.

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  2. Anvick Post author

    an ordinance is only a temporary executive measure. It cannot replace the power and function of Parliamentary process and has to be introduced as a bill in the Parliament for its consideration. Once both houses of Parliament pass the bill, it turns into an Act. This is how a bill that was previously an ordinance becomes an Act of Parliament. However it may so happen that one house passes the bill while other disapproves it or sits on it without voting on the bill. In such a case, a joint session of the Parliament can be called to vote on the bill.

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