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Cabinet approves draft of amendment bill

Published : Monday, 12 October, 2020 at 11:37 AM  Count : 418

Cabinet approves draft of amendment bill

Cabinet approves draft of amendment bill




Amid widespread protests against the growing incidents of rape, the Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with a provision of death penalty as the highest punishment for rape.

The approval came from the weekly Cabinet meeting held virtually with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Prime Minister joined the meeting through a videoconference from Ganobhaban, while other cabinet members got connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat.

In the proposed law, the punishment for rape is death penalty or life imprisonment, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press briefing after the meeting.

According to Article 9 (1) of the existing Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000, the punishment for rape is life imprisonment.

“The Women and Children Affairs Ministry placed the draft bill in the Cabinet for approval bringing amendments to Article 9 (1) of the existing law. The death penalty or life sentence has been proposed as the punishment for rape in it. The Cabinet has agreed on it (the proposal),” said the Cabinet Secretary.

He said the government is amending the law in order to curb the repression against  women and children with an iron hand in society.

Since Parliament is not in session now, the bill can be turned into a law in the format of an ordinance, he said adding that the President may promulgate the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 exercising the power bestowed in the Article 93 (1) of the Constitution.

Khandker Anwarul Islam said a massive campaign now continues for the death penalty. So, it will have a positive impact on the common people. The criminals will now be scared  due to the death penalty provision, he said.

According to the Article 9 (3) of the existing law, if a woman falls victim to gage-rape and gets injured or die, the punishment is the death penalty or life imprisonment for each rapist.

At the meeting, the Cabinet was informed about the activities taken by the Foreign Ministry in face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

UNB/TF

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