New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said Parliament could consider amending the penal provisions to award harsh punishments to persons convicted of raping a girl child and also define the term ‘child’ in respect of rape.
The court, which refused to entertain the plea of a women lawyers' body seeking castration of those convicted for raping toddlers, left the issue for the legislature to decide.
“Parliament may think of making such provisions in the IPC and it may also think of defining the term ‘child’ in the context of offence of rape,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and N.V. Ramana said. It agreed with the contention of the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association that kids, up to the age of 10, cannot be equated with other minors for the offence of rape.
Court can’t suggest penalties
The SC Women Lawyers Association told the apex court that considering the pain of a toddler victim, “there has to be a fear psychosis among the culprits.”
“The law should never be made sentimentally and emotionally,” the bench said, while concurring with the view of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the court should not “suggest a particular punishment”.
Mr Rohatgi said the demand for castration of rape convicts is “more due to the passion rather the rational thinking”. The court rejected the submission that it can pass directions on lines of the Visakha case and said in the present case, there is no void as the law is very much there. “Issue a direction...to the Centre to consider to impose castration as an additional punishment,” the plea said.