As the Central government proposed the death penalty for rapists of children younger than 12, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal, who is on a indefinite hunger strike, said she won’t end her fast until the law comes into force.
“Every day affidavits are submitted in courts by the government. Unless the law comes into enforcement, I won’t stop. The law has to be death penalty within six months to those convicted for raping minors,” she said.
The DCW chief Maliwal is on a indefinite hunger strike at Delhi’s Azad Maidan, demanding stringent laws and the death penalty for rapists and perpetrators in Kathua and Unnao rape incidents.
Earlier in the day, the Centre in a letter submitted to Supreme Court (SC) on Friday, told the apex court that the process to amend the POCSO Act, 2012, has been initiated.
The amendments in the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012, will incorporate death penalty punishment for those convicted of raping a child below the age of 12 years.
The Centre was responding to an PIL (Public Interest Litigation), which sought maximum sentence of death penalty to those, who are involved in rape and murder of children between the age group of 0 to 12.
The next hearing in the matter was scheduled for 27 April by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
After this, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Congratulations Swati Maliwal. You should now end the fast. We all should now work towards effective implementation of these laws and keep working towards rest of the demands.”
To this, Maliwal said she respects Kejriwal’s request but will not end her hunger strike.