Rajasthan on Friday became the second State, after Madhya Pradesh, to pass a Bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. The State Assembly passed the Bill seeking to amend the Indian Penal Code with the insertion of new provision by voice vote.A deterrentHome Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who introduced the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the House, said it was a “progressive legislation” aimed at protecting the girl child by laying down a deterrent punishment, including death sentence, to the offenders.“The Bill will become a law after it gets the Presidential assent. The Rajasthan Assembly has conveyed its feelings to the President. We hope that a similar initiative will be taken by other States and even by the Centre,” Mr. Kataria said after the House rejected a motion moved by some Congress members to circulate the Bill for eliciting public opinion.According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have seen a steady increase in Rajasthan. The State recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which was 3.8% of the crimes against children registered across the country. In 2015, the State had registered 3,689 cases of crimes against children.Mr. Kataria said the Bill had inserted two new sections, 376-AA and 376-DD, in the IPC.Section 376-AA provides for capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment ranging between 14 years and lifelong incarceration. Section 376-DD makes a similar provision for gang-rape of a girl child, while laying down death penalty or imprisonment from 20 years to lifelong incarceration for those convicted of the offence. Each of the persons constituting the gang will be deemed to be guilty of the offence.