Madhya Pradesh was the first Indian state to bring the provision of death penalty for rapists of children below 12-years of age. Though the government of India approved an ordinance to bring the death penalty in POCSO Act in April, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh had brought the law back in January.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan had been steadfast in his commitment to ensuring speedy investigations and trial in rape cases against children. Keeping his promise, the state of Madhya Pradesh has seen the state machinery being fast and vicious in its response towards rape crimes against children.
I have always maintained that those who rape minor girls are not humans and don’t deserve human rights. I support #DeathForRapists for such heinous crimes against humanity. My Government was the first to pass the bill with a provision for a death sentence for child rapists.
— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) April 16, 2018
After the law was enforced there have been several instances where a rapist has been caught, charged and convicted in a very short span of time. In India where court cases often take years, even decades to come to conclusion, the speedy trials and convictions in case of rapists of children have been a remarkable exception.
Earlier in July, a man named Bhaggi alias Bhagirath Patel was caught, charged and convicted by a court in Sagar within 46 days of committing the crime. He was awarded the death penalty. He was arrested on May 22 on charges of raping a 9-year-old girl in a temple. The MP police had filed a charge sheet after a mere 72 hours of Biaggi’s arrest.
On July 28, a court in Katni had awarded the death penalty to the convict of rape of a 5-year-old child within 5 days of the commencement of hearings. Convict Raj Kumar was an auto driver who had raped the child and had left her in a critical condition.
In another such incident, in the much talked about case of gangrape of an 8-year-old girl in Mandsaur, the incident had occurred on June 30 and the police had filed a 500-page charge sheet on July 12. on August 21, in less than two months, both the convicts Asif and Irfan were awarded the death penalty.
Recently in Satna, a court in Nagud has awarded the death penalty to convict Mahendra Gaud within 51 days of charge sheet filing.
In a country where stories of lengthy court trials and delayed justice are fairly common, Madhya Pradesh is creating a powerful example for other governments to follow.