The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a Bill awarding death to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below.
With this, Madhya Pradesh becomes the first State where those convicted of such rapes will face the gallows.
Introduced in the House by Law and Legislative Affairs Minister Rampal Singh, the Bill was discussed in detail and then passed by all parties, including the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress.
The Bill will now be sent to the President for his assent, after which it will become a law, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told reporters outside the Assembly.
“It was a historic day for Madhya Pradesh as the Assembly, as per the wish of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, passed a Bill making a provision to award the capital punishment to those indulging in such crimes [raping girls aged 12 or younger].
Capital punishment would be awarded to convicts under Section 376 (A), which is related to rape, and Section 376 (D, A), pertaining to gang-rape.
welcoming the Bill, Mr. Chouhan said: “There are people in society who can be set right only by severe punishments. It [the legislation] will deal with them. We will also raise awareness in society against such crimes.”