Supreme Court Directs All High Courts to Form 3-Member Panel to Monitor, Regulate POCSO Trials
The apex court also commanded the Director General of Police of every state to constitute a Special Task Force.
New Delhi, May 1: A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud on Tuesday issued directions to all the High Courts to form a three-member committee which will be completely dedicated to monitoring all Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act cases. The apex court also commanded the Director General of Police of every state to constitute a Special Task Force to ensure that strict investigations are conducted on the same.
This news comes after a rise in incidents of rape of minors in the country. On April 21, the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in its meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi. The ordinance recommends the death penalty for rapists of children below 12 years of age.
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Union Cabinet also decided to put in place measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the Union Cabinet has increased minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment while, in case of rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the minimum punishment of 20 years imprisonment or life imprisonment has been provided in the Ordinance.
Furthermore, minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment whereas, in case of gangrape of a girl below 12 years, punishment will be life imprisonment or death sentence.
This decision came in the wake of the anger amid people over recent rape cases. Recently, in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, the body an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl was found. She was brutally raped and murdered from January 10 to 17. In another case, the body of a minor girl was found with 86 injury marks in Surat district of Gujarat. The doctors have confirmed sexual assault.
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