The Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA) has filed a representation to the Prime Minister’s Office. The representation seeks to bring about chemical castration as an additional punishment for rapists. The PMO has forwarded the representation to the Women and Child Development ministry.
The group of women wants chemical castration to be an additional punishment. They want child rapists to be chemically castrated. The representation was made on April 18.
The representation says, “Apart from the death penalty, a specific legislation providing for additional punishments like chemical castration of the offenders in the rarest of rare cases is the need of the hour in such cases.”
Last Month, the Modi government amended the POCSO Act (Protection of Children against Sexual Offences) to introduce the death penalty for the rape of children below age 12. The decision came after the nationwide outrage over the gangrape and murder of a minor in Kathua district of J&K.
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SCWLA president Mahalakshmi Pavani believes that chemical castration would induce fear in the minds of the rapists. She said, “By removing the libido, you are targeting the ego of a man.”
She explained that chemical castration is far more different than physical castration. While physical castration involves surgical cutting of a body part, chemical castration involves injecting a medicine to dilute sexual desire.
In the past, she has written petitions to the Parliament and Supreme Court for stricter laws against rape of children. However, looking at the alarming rate of brutalization of women and children, the association decided to take up the matter again.
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The representation also appeals for the redefining of the term “child”
The representation says the law must take into account both girls and boys between age groups of 0 months – 12 years. It says, “Definition of the child must include both small girls and boys between the age group of 0 months-12 years. Because in the recent past there have been uncountable incidents wherein small boys have also been sexually exploited and raped and have suffered untold pain and agony.”
However, some activists have a different view on this. Ravi Kant, Founder of Shakti Vahini, told SheThePeople.TV, “No action should be taken without properly looking into the matter or without proper consultation. Any such step should not be without a consultation.”
He further highlighted the fact that even after introducing death sentence, cases of rape are couingntin. “Like a minor girl was raped in Mewat. Hence, it is important to have discussions and look at the repercussions of the same.”
“Women and Child Department should conduct a program where all the stakeholders, like-minded people can join. Where experts can share their opinions. Doctors suggestions’ should also be considered,” – Ravi Kant
He said a committee must look into the after effects and repercussions. “Department of women and child should conduct a full study or internationally they must see what is included in this. It should be amended only if the research suggests so.”
The Ministry of WCD is already considering bringing certain revisions to the POCSO Act 2012.
In the past, the Madras High Court had suggested the Centre include castration as punishment for sexual assault on minors. However, it was rejected by the Verma Committee in the year 2013. The Committee was formed after the Nirbhaya gangrape case.
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