Anyone convicted under the stringent POCSO Act that seeks to protect minors from sexual abuse should not be allowed to file mercy plea if they face the gallows, President Ram Nath Kovind said today.
“Women safety is a serious issue. Rape convicts under POCSO Act should not have right to file mercy petition. Parliament should review mercy petitions,” President Kovind said at an event in Rajasthan’s Sirohi.
“Incidents of demonic attacks on women have shaken the conscience of the country,” President Kovind said on a day the Telangana Police shot dead four accused in a rape-murder case of a veterinarian after they tried to escape during a visit to the crime scene for reconstruction.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) aims to shield minors from sexual abuse and exploitation through less ambiguous and more stringent legal provisions.
The President’s comments come at a time when the Home Ministry, in agreement with the Delhi government’s recommendation to reject a mercy plea of one of the accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, forwarded the file to him.
The government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had rejected the mercy plea.