JAIPUR: Expressing concern over increasing incidents of rape and murder in the country, President Ram Nath Kovind has said that those convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act should be deprived of the right to file a mercy petition.
President Kovind was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the National Convention on Empowerment of Women for Social Transformation at Abu Road, the international headquarters of the Brahmakumari institution in Rajasthan. He said that attacks on the daughters of India shake the soul of the country and that women's safety is a very serious matter. He added that a lot of work has been done in this regard, but much still remains to be done.
"Many things are being suggested in this context. The accused have been given the right to file a mercy petition under the constitution and I have said that it should be reconsidered. The right to file a mercy petition should be denied for incidents which occur under the POCSO Act," he stated.
"Now it all depends on our Parliament because a constitutional amendment will be required, but we are all thinking in that direction," he added.
Recently, a veterinary doctor was gang-raped and murdered in Hyderabad. Also, a minor was raped and murdered in Tonk district of Rajasthan. These incidents have led to nationwide protests. MPs from both houses of Parliament have demanded that stringent laws should be enacted in this regard.
The POCSO Act was enacted to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography while safeguarding the interests of children at every stage of the judicial process.