Convicts under POCSO Act should not have right to mercy petition: President Ram Nath Kovind

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Demonic attacks on women have shaken the conscience of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday and said that those convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act should be deprived of their right to mercy petition.

It is for the Parliament to take a decision on the matter and make necessary constitutional amendments, “but the thought of all of us is moving ahead in that direction”, he said while addressing an event in Rajasthan.

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He said “Incidents of demonic assaults on daughters shake the conscience of the country. It is the duty of every parent, citizens, yours and mine to strengthen among boys the sense of respect towards women.

“In this context, several things are coming up. Such convicts have been given the right of mercy petition by the Constitution. I have said that there should be reconsideration on this…. In cases under POCSO Act, they be deprived of the right of mercy petition. They do not need any such right,” he said.

These remarks come amid the rape cases reported in Unnao and Hyderabad.

A rape survivor from Unnao, UP was set on fire by five men which included two of the accused, on Thursday when she was on her way to court. The woman has been critical at a hospital in Delhi with 90% burns.

A woman veterinarian was raped, killed and burnt in Hyderabad. The charred body of the woman, working as an assistant veterinarian at a State-run hospital, was found under a culvert in Shadnagar, near Hyderabad, on November 29.

President also emphasised on the role of education to empower women.

“It is true that when you make a boy educated, it gives benefit to one family but when you make a girl educated, its benefit goes to two families. Another important fact is that the children of an educated woman do not remain uneducated,” he said.

The President also said that the financial empowerment of women was also important and the Centre’s Jan Dhan Yojana has played an important role.

“I have been informed that an improvement of nearly 35 points is child sex ratio is there in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. This is an important social change. Birth of 1003 daughters per 1000 sons in Rajasthan’s Banswara district is a good thing, he said.

“This year, for the present Lok Sabha, election of 78 women MP is an achievement for our society. In rural India, more than 10 lakh women through Panchayati Raj Institutions are also playing their role effectively, he said.

The President was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day national convention on the empowerment of women for social transformation at Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Abu Road in Sirohi district.

(With Agency Inputs)

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