Srinagar: In a bid to curb violence against women, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Thursday approved two ordinances, one of which advocates the death penalty for those convicted of raping a girl below 12 years of age.
The Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018, and the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, were promulgated by Vohra and come into effect from Thursday, an official spokesperson said.
In view of the surge in violence against women in general and sexual violence in particular in various parts of the country, including J&K, a need was felt to carry out certain amendments to Criminal Laws in the state on the analogy of the amendments made in the Central Criminal Law in 2018, the official said.
The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month approved an ordinance allowing courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping girls under 12 years.
Under the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, raping a girl under the age of 12 years can lead to a death sentence.
It also provides for 20 years imprisonment, which may extend to the remainder of a convict's natural life, for raping a woman under the age of 16 years, added the official.
The investigation in such cases is to be completed within a period of two months and trial to be completed within six months. Reasons for any delay shall need to be communicated to the High Court, the official said.
The ordinance on protection of children from sexual violence provides for preventing a minor from sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography for safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process, the spokesman said.
"It provides for alternative punishment for an act or omission constituting an offence under the Ordinance and also under various provisions of the State Penal Code relating to sexual assault," the official said.
The ordinance contains provisions relating to child friendly procedures and reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences; establishment of special courts for speedy trial and makes it mandatory for educational institutions to ensure safety and protection of children and not to expose them to any kind of sexual abuse.