The Government of India (GOI) has submitted a letter to the Supreme Court stating that they have initiated a process to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to ensure the maximum punishment of death penalty for rapists of children below the age of 12, ANI has reported.
The GOI was responding to a PIL filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava. The matter, being heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, is scheduled to be heard next on April 27.
In the wake of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, there is a nationwide clamour for the most stringent action for the perpetrators in the case. The rape case of an 11-year-old girl from Surat, too, has evoked a sharp response from the opposition.
Last week, a “deeply, deeply disturbed” Maneka Gandhi said that she intends to ask for the death penalty for those who rape children below 12 years of age.