The Delhi high court asked the Centre on Monday if it had done any research or scientific assessment before coming out with an ordinance to award death penalty for rape of girls below the age of 12.
The high court was dealing with an old PIL that challenged the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013, in which a penal provision – minimum of seven years of jail term – for a rape convict was included and the court’s discretion to award less than that was taken away.
The observation by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came while dealing with a plea seeking to strike down the amendments made in the rape law post the 16 December, 2012 Delhi gangrape incident in New Delhi as they are “being abused”.
“Did you carry out any study, any scientific assessment that death penalty is a deterrent to rape? Have you thought of the consequences to the victim? How many offenders would allow their victims to survive now that rape and murder have the same punishment,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the government.
A citizen survey shows that 76 per cent of the people agree with it. According to the survey conducted by LocalCircles, 18 per cent voted for life imprisonment without parole for convicted rapists while three per cent said it should be a seven-year jail term (which is the current law).