The Uttarakhand High Court has suggested that the state government bring in a law which imposes death penalty for raping minors, so that it acts as a strong deterrent against such offences.
A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh yesterday made the observation, while upholding the death sentence of a man, who was convicted by a lower court last year for raping and killing an eight-year-old in June 2016.
Citing steady rise in crime against children in recent years, the bench observed that it is the state government which can bring an appropriate legislation to impose death penalties on convicts, who are found guilty of raping minors aged 15 or below.
The high court underlined the need for a strong deterrent as it is coming across a number of cases, where the victims aged 15 or below are being raped and murdered.
It quoted a recent report by the National Crime Records Bureau titled ‘Crime Against Children (States & UTs)’, which said 676 such cases were registered in the state in 2016, compared to 635 in 2015 and 489 in 2014.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court Thursday vacated the stay on the state government’s notification banning 25 junk food items in plastic packaging and directed it to implement the ban in the state from Jan 26 next year.
However, the ban excludes drinking water, both packed and mineral.
A division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice V.K. Sharma further directed the government to ensure that edible oils and fats should not be sold in plastic bottles and pouches and instead should be packed in tin containers.
The bench also directed the government to ensure that from March 31 no foodstuff, including primary and essential food, is manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed without conforming to the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006 and Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation of 2011.
The court also directed the state to appoint a food commissioner, if not already appointed, within four weeks. It directed the government to ensure that no person is permitted to commence or carry on any food business without obtaining a license.
The court had reserved its judgment Dec 6.
As per the court’s judgment, eatables like potato chips, cookies, candy, chewing-gum, ice-cream, chocolates and noodles would not be available in polythene packets.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court has asked the state government to clarify its policy on opening liquor shops near educational institutes and religious places.
A division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma Wednesday observed the liquor vending policy followed in the state in regard to distance from educational institutions, places of worship and bus stands “appears to be lacking in clarity”. The order was made available Thursday.
“It is provided that there shall be no such liquor vend within the distance of 60 metres from the recognised educational institutions, places of worship and inter-district bus stands,” the bench said.
The court observed that how to measure the distance is not clear in the policy and listed the matter for next hearing Nov 19.
The court’s observations came on a letter written by Ashok Kumar to the chief justice seeking directions to authorities concerned to shift a liquor vend situated near a girls’ senior secondary school in Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district.