The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry is all set to move a proposal to the Cabinet seeking death penalty for sexually assaulting boys less than 12 years of age, Hindustan Times has reported.
The proposal comes less than a week after an amendment promulgating death penalty for raping girls below 12 years of age was put into effect in the wake of Kathua and Delhi incidents.
The amendment will ensure that rape of ‘any’ child less than 12 years of age will be treated in the same manner under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act, which was envisioned a gender-neutral law.
“It resulted in an anomaly where the same crime committed against a girl and a boy is treated differently. The ordinance that was brought in to punish those raping girls less than 12 years contradicts the spirit of POCSO, which is gender-neutral,” an official cognisant of the developments said.
The 22 April amendments are yet to be approved by the Parliament, when it reconvenes, and the WCD officials are trying to get the new amendments approved by the Cabinet till then.
“We are in the process of sending the proposal to all stakeholder ministries including law for consultation after which we will go to the cabinet,” another official said.
The amendments will ensure that the law abides with the articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution which ensure equality before law.