Castration as Punishment for Child Rapists, Parliament to Decide: Supreme Court

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On Monday, the hon’ble Supreme Court said that severe punishments are to be given to child rapists and made it clear that the parliament have to decide on such matters and it is the right authority to decide on harsh punishments like chemical castration. The bench consisted of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice N V Ramana who were hearing the petition filed by Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association for giving harsher punishments for persons abusing children. The Court but declined to issue an order to the Central Government to impose harsh punishments for sexual offenders stating that it is the parliament to challenge the law on this point.

The bench further said that they can only suggest and cannot issue direction to impose punishment for the criminal acts. Such matters comes within the sphere of the parliament and they have to reach a decision on the point, the Court added. It was also pointed out that no special provision is included in the IPC for child rape but the code speaks about rape of minor girls. Hence it is necessary to frame law with regard to rape of children between 2-10 years. Mahalakshmi Pavani, Senior advocate who appeared for the petitioner submitted that the sexual offences towards children are increasing and also pointed out the decision of High Court of Madras which suggested for the punishment of castration for persons accused of child rape.

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The lawyer also asked the court to interfere in such matters in spite of being a mute spectator of incidents in the society. It was also argued that many developed countries have imposed castration as punishment for child rapists. But the court said that it is not possible to follow foreign laws blindly in our country. Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General of India submitted before the court that it is for the Parliament to decide on a law regarding the punishment of child rapists.

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Adv. Jewel Panicker