Capital Punishment For Rape That Leads To Death Or Persistent Vegetative State
Petition Background (Preamble):
As Amanat/Nirbhaya’s (not her real name) rape case in Delhi, India, was fresh in our minds, the honorable Justice JS Verma commission’s recommendations rule out death penalty for heinous rape crimes including the death/murder or the “persistent vegetative state” of the victim due to rape. The commission’s recommendation of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) for not less than 20 years to life where RI is loosely defined or hardly enforced (Hindustan Times article, July 24, 2011) is hardly punitive for causing death to the rape victim. Also, the taxpayers are burdened to pay for the offenders’ upkeep in the prisons that don’t deserve to live. As the recommendations are about to become legislation any time soon, we would like the invocation of the death penalty to the culprits of the heinous rape crimes.
Also, The Protection of Children From Sexual Assault Offenses Act, 2012, that was passed in May, 2012, promulgated the punishment for “Penetrative Sexual Assault” as mere “imprisonment for not less than 7 years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine”. But as the sexual assault (rape) of any type against children is equally heinous as the “Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault” and the punishment should be as harsh as for the “Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault” – “Whoever, commits aggravated penetrative sexual assault, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine”.
We, the undersigned, call on the Government of the Sovereign Republic of India to
1. Replace the recommendation of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) for causing death/murder or the “persistent vegetative state” of the victim(either minor or major) by rapewith the “Death Penalty”.
2. Make an amendment to the punishment prescribed in The Protection of Children From Sexual Assault Offenses Act, 2012 for “Penetrative Sexual Assault” same as the punishment for “Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault”.
RI is only a symptomatic fix for such heinous rape crimes of causing death to the rape victim but only the Death Penalty is a root cause fix and a true deterrent in stoppingrape crimes in the society. We earnestly urge you to consider our request which is voice of millions of Indians.