The Rajasthan assembly passed a bill on Friday approving death penalty to those convicted of raping or gang-raping a girl upto 12 years of age.
With this, Rajasthan has become the second state in the country after Madhya Pradesh approving death sentence for those convicted of such rapes.
State home minister Gulab Chand Kataria introduced The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 in the assembly, which was passed in the House by a voice vote following a debate.
The state government aimed to introduce the bill noting the cases of rape and gang-rape of young girls. Accordingly, sections 376-AA and 376-DD were added in the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
They provide, that whoever commits rape/gang-rape on a girl upto twelve years of age shall be punishable with death or a rigorous imprisonment which shall not be less than fourteen years and 20 years respectively for the sections and which may extend to imprisonment for life, which means imprisonment for the remainder of the offender's whole life, and with fine.
According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have shown a steady rise in Rajasthan.
The state recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which is 3.8 per cent of the crimes against children (98,344) registered across the country. It stands fourth in the crime against women category.
In 2015, the state had registered 3,689 cases of crime against children, which increased by 345 in the year under review.
As per the NCRB data, state police registered 728 cases of child rape in 2015, which increased to 858 in 2016.