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The Rajasthan Assembly on Friday approved a prescribing death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age, reported The India Express (IE).

Rajasthan becomes the second state to have such law after Madhya Pradesh which passed a similar Bill in December 2017. Last month, Haryana cabinet had given a nod to bring in a legislation for similar amendments in IPC. Maharashtra and Karnataka are also considering the death penalty for child rapists.

The amendment bill was tabled in the Rajasthan Assembly on Wednesday. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, seeks to add section 376-AA in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which will be defined as: “Punishment for rape on a woman up to twelve years of age. Whoever commits rape on a woman up to twelve years of age shall be punished with death, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

A similar provision, 376-DD, will be added for gangrape, the IE report said. In the ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ for bringing in the Bill, the government said, “It has come to the notice of the State Government that the offence relating to child rape and child gang-rape are taking place every now and then. Such crimes are heinous and turn the life of the victim into hell.”

Earlier in February, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, in a reply to the Budget debate in the Assembly, had announced that the state government will bring in more stringent punishment, including capital punishment, for rape of girls under 12 years.

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