'Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2020' was passed in Parliament on November 17, 2020 for ensuring death penalty as the highest punishment for the heinous crime of rape.
The bill was amended to incorporate the death penalty as the maximum punishment in rape cases.
In the proposed law, the punishment for rape is death penalty or life imprisonment. According to Article 9 (1) of the existing Women and Children Repression Prevention Act-2000, the punishment for rape is life imprisonment.
This was earlier promulgated through an ordinance on October 13 as Parliament was not in session, in the face of populist demands to ensure death penalty for rapists.
As per the legal obligation the ordinance was placed in Parliament for its approval by Law Minister Anisul Huq.
The ordinance was issued following waves of anti-rape demonstrations across Bangladesh after a serious of heinous rapes, most notably the gang rape of a housewife in Noakhali’s Begumganj upazila, which was videoed by the perpetrators and later the video turned up on the internet, which went viral.
The incident occurred at Joykrishnapur village under Eklashpur union of the upazila on September 2, 2020.