Reports of rising number of crimes against women from Haryana in recent past have been disturbing the entire country. Sexual abuse of minor girls has been a particularly horrible subset of crimes against women. Therefore a higher level of punishment must be awarded for these criminals.
Madhya Pradesh law for rapists of girls aged 12 or below
In December 2017, Madhya Pradesh became the first state to pass a law to punish rapists of 12 years or younger girls. The law titled ‘Dand Vidhi (Madhya Pradesh Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2017’ was unanimously passed by the assembly and sent for president’s assent. The law stipulates a punishment of death penalty or a minimum of 14 years rigorous imprisonment for rape of girls aged 12 or younger. For gang rape of minors, the punishment is 20 years. The law also considers disrobing, stalking and sex on pretext of marriage as a crime.
Will Haryana Follow Suit?
Following reports of rapes of minors, the Haryana Chief Minister told ANI that the government would consider a law proposing capital punishment for rapists of girls below 12 years if the reports of media are found to be true.
I am really hurt by the incidents being reported by you lately. We have decided to make strong provisions. If such incidents of rape with girls below 12 is proved true, we will make an act of capital punishment for the accused in this session: #Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar pic.twitter.com/BM0PL8BUbi
— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2018
While legal provisions may serve as a deterrent to future crimes, the State Government must also focus on sensitization campaigns and faster disposal of rape cases, which are extremely important to send a strong message to the society regarding the government’s commitment to protect women.