Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 [salient features]

The legislature enacted the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2018, to amend the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. It received the President’s assent on 11-08-2018 and was notified on the same day, to be effective from 21-04-2018.

Salient features of the Act are:

  1. It stipulates a minimum jail term of 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence, for the rape of a girl under 12 years. While perpetrators involved in the gangrape of a girl below 12 years of age will get life imprisonment or death.
  2. Amendment was made to sub-section (1) of S. 376, increasing the term of punishment for perpetrators, from 7 years to 10 years.
  3. The amendment under S. 376 additionally makes a provision for the fine to be payable to the victim.
  4. S. 439 of the CrPC was amended to make it imperative for the Courts in cases of grant of bail to an accused under S. 376(3), S.376 AB , S. 376DA or S.376 DB of the IPC to give notice of the application for bail to the Public Prosecutor.

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    Amendment to IPC Section 376 is welcome. The Accused in such cases should be punished at the highest possible way. Rape is a curse to our society. Victims are unnecessarily suffered and provision to for the fine payable to the victim is very good but the amount of fine should be such as it would meet the medicals and other expenses.

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