President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated the ordinance passed by the Centre that amends POCSO Act, allowing courts to pronounce death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.

The development comes a day after the Union Cabinet cleared the ordinance to amend the POCSO act. The criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code IPC, the Evidence Act, the CrPC and the POCSO Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes to death.

The ordinance was yesterday cleared by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ordinance prescribed the minimum punishment in case of rape of women to increase from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means imprisonment till that person’s natural life.