January,11,2016: This is the first time that the Apex Court has distinguished between minors and children below 10 years of age.
The Supreme Court on Monday noted that rape and sexual offences against infants and girl children below 10 years of age is nothing but “brutal perversion,” and asked Parliament to enact a separate law on child rape and provide rigorous punishment to the offenders.
This is the first time that the apex court has distinguished between minors and children below 10 years of age. A Bench, led by Justice Dipak Misra, said Parliament had to separately define the word ‘child’ in terms of rape.
“The pain and distress caused to a child, including infants as young as 28-days-old, who knows nothing about sex and rape is nothing but brutal perversion. When a society moves this way, it has to be stopped,” Justice Misra dictated in a written order.
It said Section 376 (i) of the Indian Penal Code only talks of “woman below 16 years of age” and has no specific provision for girl children below 10 years of age and infants.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said child rape can never be tolerated and agreed to highlight the court’s order to the government for putting it up before the lawmakers for an appropriate legislation.
This has to be remedied by amending the Indian Penal Code, the apex court said.
The Supreme Court on Monday said parliament may think of formulating laws providing for harsher punishment for those accused of rape and abuse of minor children.
An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said this while hearing a petition filed by Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association seeking castration of child rape convicts.
Quoting National Crime Records Bureau figures, the SCWLA PIL said a child is abused every 30 minutes in India. The country witnessed a 151 per cent increase in child rapes in five years. (5,484 in 2009 to 13,766 in 2014).
But in 2013, the Justice Verma committee rejected the demand for castration noting the punishment “fails to treat the social foundations of rape.” Justice Verma also said it would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with human rights treaties to expose citizens to the potentially dangerous medical side effects of castration without their consent.
The bench told the petitioner’s lawyer Mahalakshmi Pavani that emotions and sentiments could not be a basis for framing of laws for providing stringent punishment for convicts.
The court noted Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s submission that law-making power was within the domain of parliament and the same could not be exercised by courts.
11.1.2016- Supreme Court to start hearing a Petition seeking punishment of Castration for those who Rape Children
22.12.2015- Finally heinous Juvenile Crimes by 16 years and above to be tried under laws for Adults, Read the Bill
19.9.2015- Supreme Court questions, why Rape/Sexual Assault of a Married Child not a Crime
21.8.2015- Court takes suo motu cognizance of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s yet another denigrating utterance on Women and Rape