Cabinet clears draft law prescribing death for rape

Published: 12 October 2020

Post Desk : The cabinet today approved the draft of the “The Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Ordinance- 2020” prescribing death as capital punishment for rape.

“The cabinet unanimously gave its nod in its regular weekly meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair to “The Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Ordinance- 2020″ for bringing a change to the existing law keeping a provision of death as the capital punishment for rape instead of lifetime rigorous imprisonment,” Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam told a news briefing following the meeting at the cabinet division of Bangladesh Secretariat here.

The Premier joined the meeting from her official Ganabhaban residence while her cabinet colleagues got connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat through a videoconference.

Anwarul added that the Women and Children Affairs Ministry brought the draft law proposing to amend section 9 (1) of the existing “The Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000” by replacing the words “lifetime rigorous imprisonment” with “death penalty or lifetime rigorous imprisonment’ as capital punishment for rape.

According to the Article 9 (1) of the existing “The Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000,” the punishment for rape is life imprisonment and pecuniary punishment. He said the amendment to the existing law is obligatory aimed at preventing the repression on the women and children particularly the rape as it is a heinous crime.

The cabinet secretary said that the President can formulate or announce the ordinance if he considers that the necessary state of affairs has currently been prevailing to take measures to this effect using the power vested upon him in accordance with the article 93 (1) of the Constitution as no session is now running in the parliament.

Answering to a query, he said, “It will definitely have a positive impact in the mind of the general people as the media is going to conduct a huge promotional campaign regarding the matter. The people who are intended to commit rape they will think twice that the death is the capital punishment for the crime.”

He hinted that the draft law will help reducing the rape incidents.

Referring to section 15 of the existing “The Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000,” that has suggested of giving compensation to the rape victims by the convict/s, the cabinet secretary said the section will be prominently taken into consideration in the trial process.