Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Huq says upgrading the punishment for rape from life term to the death penalty would reduce the crime in coming days.
The punishment for rape was life imprisonment as per section 9(1) of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. But a proposal to amend the provision has been granted by the cabinet in today's meeting.
Now the punishment for rape has been made the death penalty or life term imprisonment.
"Hopefully, the amendment will reduce the crime," hoped the law minister, said a press release issued by the ministry.
The minister also mentioned that a dual bench of the High Court Division had earlier ordered the amendment of Section 11 (c) of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and keep the option of compromise in the cases of common injuries.
As per the order, a provision for compromise was kept in the amended version of the act. Besides, an amendment has been made to the Children's Act-2013.
"The amendments got final approval in today's cabinet meeting subject to vetting. As the parliament is not in session at present, it has been decided to issue the amendments in the form of ordinance," he said, adding that the ordinance is likely to be issued tomorrow as per the order of the President.
Anisul Huq said despite lots of controversies over the death penalty across the globe, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thinks the punishment should be upgraded considering the situation. In this context, the changes were brought to the Act.
The old cases will be solved through due procedure on a priority basis while the latest ones at the earliest possible time, he added.
Mentioning that the government believes in the law, the law minister said the authorities will make necessary arrangements and try to complete the rape cases within the earliest possible time.
The minister said there were some complications over presenting witnesses at the dock. But the issues have now been resolved with the help of modern technology.
Legal procedures in the cases, including rape cases, would get momentum thanks to adoption of modern methods.
He also revealed that the government is working on the Witness Protection Act.