Child rape: SC says Parliament may consider stringent punishment

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The Supreme Court (SC) on 11 January said that Parliament may consider more stringent punishment for those convicted for rape of children.

The court made the observation during hearing of a petition filed by the Supreme Court Women Lawyers’ Association (SCWLA) seeking castration of child abuse convicts.

According to the plea, only castration can be an effective deterrent against these heinous crimes. As many as 892 cases of child rape have been registered last year.

Justice Misra dictated that, “The pain and distress caused to a child, including infants, who know nothing about sex and rape, is nothing but perversion.” The report stated Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said child rape can never be tolerated and agreed to highlight the court’s order to the government, according to The Hindu.

The court rejected the demand as sought through a petition, said Parliament could consider harsher punitive laws, if it so willed. The SC also said that Parliament may also reconsider the definition of ‘child’ in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with context to rape. Presently, in IPC, ‘child’ is defined as any person below the age of 18 years.