Crime against fairer sex to witness harsh punishment
Govt finally unveils the JK Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance-2018 Bill
Srinagar: The government has finally unveiled the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance-2018 Bill, amending the already existing Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) provisions assuring stern punishment for those involved in heinous crimes such as rape.
A government spokesperson on Thursday said that it has been decided to reinforce the legal framework to curb instances of women being victimized by the persons in authority or in fiduciary relationships.
He said that the existing legislative provisions “have been found deficient to curb this menace and therefore, a need was felt to introduce such provisions in the relevant laws which would prevent the occurrence of such instances.”
While preventing such instances from occurring, the government spokesperson said that it is also aiming to “deter the persons in authority to abuse their authority, influence or position to obtain sexual favours from the weaker sex.”
While making changes in section 376, Act XII of Samvat, 1989—in section 376 of the Penal Code, the order says that whosoever commits rape of a woman under sixteen years of age shall be punished rigorously imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years.
“But, which may extend to imprisonment of life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life and shall be liable to fine. Provided that such file shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim,” the ordinance reads.
Further, the ordinance has also inserted a section 376AB, Act XII of SAMVAT, 1989 after the section 376A of the Penal Code.
The added section 376 AB titled ‘Punishment of rape on women Under 12 years of age’ reads, “whosoever commits a rape on a woman under 12 years of age shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years but which may extend to
Insertion of section 376 DA and 376DB, Act XII of Samvat, 1989—after section 376D of the Penal Code, the following section has been inserted namely ‘376DA. Punishment for gang rape on women under sixteen years of age’ the ordinance states.
“Where a woman under sixteen years of age is raped by one or more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of those people shall be deemed to have committed the offence and shall be punished with the imprisonment of life, which shall mean the imprisonment for remainder of that person’s natural life and with fine,” the ordinance reads.
In case of gang rape on a woman under twelve years of age section 376DB titled ‘Punishment for gang rape on women under twelve years of age’ has been added by virtue of the Ordinance.
The Ordnance says that where a woman under twelve years of age is raped by one or more persons “constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of those people shall be deemed to have committed the offence and shall be punished with the imprisonment of life,” which shall mean the imprisonment “for remainder of that person’s natural life and with fine or with death.”
The ordinance has also amended the section 410, Act XXIII of Samvat, 11989 in section 410 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Therein, after sub-section (1), in case of appeals filed, the following sub-section has been inserted “When an appeal has been filed against a sentence passes under sections 376, 376A, section 376AB, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA, section 376DB, section 376E of the Ranbir Penal Code, the appeal shall be disposed of within a period of six months from the date of filing of such appeal.”
In case of compensation to the victim of the rape, the added substitution section 545-B, Act XXIII of Samvat, 1989 for section 545-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, has been added.
The section 545B titled ‘Compensation to be in addition to the fine under section 326A, section 376A, section376D, section 376DA, section 376DB,’ the ordinance reads “Compensation payable by the govt under section 545A shall be in addition to payment of fine to the victim under section 326A, section 376A, 376D, section 376DA or section 376DB.”
The ordinance as promulgated by the former Governor N N Vohra in May this year has been now put in the public domain. The ordinance accepts the need of such a provision given the circumstance that existed in the state post-Kathua rape-murder case.
“Whereas the State Legislature is not in session and the Governor is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action,” it reads in the preamble.
Meanwhile, the draft bill has been put in public domain for comments/ suggestions from the Government Departments/ Institutions/ Bar Associations, Stakeholders, the general public and other entities.