Nearly 150 rapists have been sentenced to life imprisonment by various courts in the last 10 months in Madhya Pradesh, the only state which awards points to public prosecutors to secure more and prompt conviction.
Trial courts handed down capital punishment in 16 cases, including 14 cases in which the victims were minors, since February 28. This is probably the highest number of death sentences awarded in the country in such a short span of time.
Three of those death sentences have been confirmed by the high court while in three cases the sentence has been reduced to life imprisonment. “No one has been acquitted by the high court so far. It reflects on the quality of investigation and good work of prosecution,” Director of Public Prosecution Rajendra Kumar told The Indian Express. He said in the 150 trials that resulted in life imprisonment, victims were minors.
Public prosecutors who secure death sentence in a case get 1000 points and 500 points for each life imprisonment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who praised the quick trials resulting in death sentences in MP in his Independence Day speech, also mentioned it on Friday when he addressed a poll rally in Shahdol. Most of the death sentences have followed amendment to the criminal law through an ordinance on April 21, which has now become a law. It empowers trial judges to hand down death sentence when rape victims are aged 12 or below.