The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved ordinance to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age. The ordinance would be now sent to the President for his approval.
Following a meeting of the Union Cabinet, the government cleared the amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The development comes in the wake of the alleged rape of girls in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua and Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district.
Official sources said here that the criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.
Earlier, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had expressed her ministry's intention to amend the POCSO to make provision for death penalty in such cases.
Soon after, the Centre submitted its report while responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava in the Supreme Court, seeking maximum sentence of death penalty to those offenders involved in the rape and brutal murder of children between the age group of 0 to 12.