Cabinet to approve Ordinance for death penalty for rape of minor girls

Recapitalization of 3 Cooperative Banks to be cleared

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 23: State Cabinet, which is meeting tomorrow, will approve Ordinances to provide stringent punishment including death penalty for those convicted for rape of minor girls. Moreover, the Cabinet will take decision about implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations in respect of Government employees and pensioners.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that Cabinet will meet at 11 am at Civil Secretariat under the chairpersonship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to discuss huge administrative agenda, which is pending for approval during the past quite long time. This will be the last Cabinet meeting ahead of Darbar Move and reshuffle in the Council of Ministers.
The Cabinet will approve two Ordinances prepared by the Law Department to provide stringent punishment including death penalty for those convicted of rape of minor girls, sources said while disclosing that through one Ordinance the Government is going to amend Criminal Laws—Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) while as through second Ordinance the Government will enforce new law—Prevention of Children from Sexual Violence Act.
Following amendment in the Criminal Laws, those convicted of rape of girl up to 16 years will be awarded rigorous imprisonment of 20 years or imprisonment for life. However, those convicted of rape of girl under 12 years of age will be awarded death penalty. “These amendments in the Criminal Laws are strictly in accordance with the amendments carried out by the Union Government in the Central Laws few days back”, sources said.
“This is for the first time that J&K will have Prevention of Children from Sexual Violence Act on the pattern of Central Law”, they further said, adding “both the Ordinances have been drafted by the Law Department in consultation with Home Department on the directions of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti”.
It is pertinent to mention here that while welcoming the decision of the Union Cabinet to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age, the Chief Minister had stated that her Government would also bring similar laws in Jammu and Kashmir to put an end to crimes against women.
According to the sources, Cabinet will also take decision about implementation of recommendations of 7th Pay Commission in respect of Government employees and pensioners.
The Finance Minister has already prepared a roadmap in this regard after series of meetings with the concerned officers, they said, adding the implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations will bring an end to the long drawn struggle of the Government employees.
The Cabinet will also hold deliberations on the proposal of the Cooperative Department regarding recapitalization of three District Central Cooperative Banks of the State. These are Anantnag Central Cooperative Bank, Baramulla Central Cooperative Bank and Jammu Central Cooperative Bank.
As per the Monitorable Action Plan, an amount of Rs 366.71 crore has been worked out as total fund requirement for recapitalization out of which Rs 255.51 crore as State Share and Rs 111.20 crore as Government of India’s share. The State share has already been released by the Government and is presently lying with the Cooperative Department, sources said, adding recapitalization will reform the Central Cooperative Banks by providing them license by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The Cabinet will also put seal of approval on the proposal regarding enhancement of salaries and allowances of Chairman, Executive Councilors and Councilors of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil, sources informed.
During the meeting, deliberations will also be held on disengagement of previously selected constable (operators) in J&K Police Telecommunication, sources said while disclosing that a Cabinet Sub-Committee comprising of Deputy Chief Minister, Minister of Industries and Commerce, Minister for Rural Development and Law and Minister for Finance has already arrived at conclusion on the issue.
Three proposals of the Power Development Department regarding fast tracking of consumer metering including their operation, maintenance, reading and billing services in the State, implementation of Smart Grid Projects and restructuring and unbundling of J&K Power Development Department to carve out Power Trading Company will also come up for discussion and approval in the Cabinet.
The other agenda items before the Cabinet include filling up of Common Pool of posts for HODs, enhancement of duty allowance of Volunteer Home Guards, transfer of State land in Surankote and Mendhar to the Higher Education Department for establishment of Surankote Campus of University of Jammu, transfer of land for establishment of Government College of Engineering and Technology in Ganderbal, transfer of land to Estates Department for construction of residential flats for VIPs, Legislators and Government employees, regularization of erstwhile Falah-i-Aam Trust employees working in the Education Department, temporary engagement of teachers in the School Education Department etc.