English | Dzongkha Monday, May 20, 2019

Gang rape of 12 year old or below to receive life


May 24, 2011

Gang rape of a child who is 12 years or below shall now be punishable with life imprisonment. This was decided by the joint sitting of the parliament today after extensive debate which lasted two days.

Earlier, the gang rape of a 12 year old or below carried the minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and maximum of life.

Most of the women parliamentarians spoke with one voice supporting the proposal to give life imprisonment for gang rape of a child who is 12 years and below.

National Assembly member Karma Lhamo said “if people don’t fear the law, they will continue to commit the crime.”

National Council member Sangay Zam said “we will be sending a strong message to offenders to restrain them from committing such crime.”

Others expressed concern that the punishment was too severe.

National Assembly member Damcho Dorji asked “life imprisonment is the highest sentence, my question is what sentence will we give a person who not only gang rapes a child below 12 years but also murders the victim.”

After much deliberation, the joint sitting of the parliament decided to vote. Of the 66 votes cast, 51 voted in favour of life sentence.

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