Guwahati/ 28th April’2018 (Prag News Desk):
The Central government will amend the POCSO Act to provide death sentence for rape of boys under the age of 12, after the Ordinance promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind provided the same punishment for rape of girls in this age bracket.
The Ordinance seeks to amend Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code to enhance punishment of rape and gang-rape of minors less than two different age-groups – “woman” less than 12 years and 16 years.
Those convicted of rape of girls less than 12 years would be awarded jail for 20 years or life imprisonment or death penalty, while those convicted of rape of girls less than 16 years would be imprisoned for 20 years or for the rest of their life.
These strict punishments were agreed upon after the Ordinance led to an anomaly where similar crimes under the protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, – which deals with offences against boys and girls – had less severe punishments. While crimes against girls were enhanced through amendment to the IPC combined with a revision of Section 42 of the POCSO Act to imply that the stricter punishment in the IPC will apply, there was no mention of crimes against boys.