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POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act 2019

News & Blog

About POCSO Act 2019

A country with approximately 500 million children below the age of 18 requires strict laws and provisions for punishments to keep a strict hold on criminal offences against children. India being a country where almost 250 million children under the age of 18 are girls has made sure to implicate strict laws for children to protect them against sexual offences. With the rapid speed in which crime against children has grown the government in 2012 came up with the POCSO Act or the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences. Safeguarding the interest of children from sexual harassment, sexual assault as well as pornography is the major objective of this act.

Observing the loopholes in the original Act and seeing many criminals getting an undue advantage due to the same on 18th July 2018 the Minister of Child and Women Welfare introduced the POCSO (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. It was passed from the Rajya Sabha and further presented in the Lok Sabha and was approved on 1st of August 2019. This was practically enforced from 16th of August 2019. The bill demanded amendments related to:

  1. The requirement of more dire consequences which would have to be faced by the offenders under POCSO.
  2. It requested the availability of CCTV cameras in all public buildings at least.
  3. Time-bound investigations
  4. Prosecution and proportionate compensation
  5. Demand for an independent national children tribunal
  6. Expenses involved in the treatment of victims under POCSO should be borne by the state government
  7. Medical examination should strictly be done by lady doctors
  8. Role of mental health professionals should also be considered
  9. Death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children should be incorporated
  10. Stringent and rigorous punishment shall be imposed on criminals against minors

Keeping in mind all the important measurements required for child safety in the society keeping away the lines of differences between various parties at bay the government passed the POCSO (Amendment) Act 2019 without any hassle and delay. The government observed a poor conviction rate under the initial POCSO Act 2012 and imposed tighter arrangements to safeguard the living of children in society. A green signal was given a time-bound investigation and included the death penalty in extreme aggravated cases. The amendments were brought in Section 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 14, 15, 34, 42 and 45 of the existing Act. The government has worked on making the procedure of law under POCSO-

  1. More child-friendly
  2. Involvement of child welfare committee
  3. Contention and implementation of the Act more rigorously
  4. Provision of Legal Aid
  5. Included consensual sex under the age of 18 punishable

The act included elaborated regulations against:

  • Penetrative Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated penetrative sexual Assault
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Pornographic purposes

The punishment mentioned are:

Category of Offence

 

Punishment
Penetrative sexual assault Imprisonment of either a descriptive term not less than 7 years which may extend up to imprisonment for a life and shall be liable to fine

 

Aggravated Sexual Assault Imprisonment of not less than 5 years which may extend up  to 7 years and liable to fine

 

Sexual harassment Imprisonment which can be a maximum of 3 years along with fine
Using a child for pornographic purpose ·         Imprisonment of either description which may extend up to 5 years and fine

·         If the person is directly participating in the pornographic act

(I).   as per section 3 then imprisonment shall not be less than 10 years which may extend up to imprisonment for life and shall be liable to fine

(II). As per section 7 then imprisonment shall not be less than 6 years which may extend up to 8 years along with fine

(III).                     As per section 9 then imprisonment not less than 8 years which may extend up to 10 years along with fine

·         If the person stores any pornographic material with relation the children for commercial purpose then he shall face imprisonment of either described term up to a maximum of 3 years or fine or both.

 

The detailed view of punishments and offences under POCSO can be read on the government web portal www.wcd.nic.in

FAQs

What is POCSO?

The Act incorporated for the protection of children again sexual offence, sexual assault and pornography are POCSO which has been defined as Protection of Children from Sexual Offences.

When were the amendments introduced in the POCSO Act?

On 18th July 2018, the Minister of Child and Women Welfare introduced the POCSO (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. It was passed from the Rajya Sabha and further presented in the Lok Sabha and was approved on 1st of August 2019. This was practically enforced from 16th of August 2019.

What are the offences covered under POCSO?

The offences covered under POCSO are

  • Penetrative Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated penetrative sexual Assault
  • Pornographic purposes

The Act defines punishments under the above mentioned sexual offences against children.

What are the main objectives for the amendment of the POCSO?

The amendments in POCSO were brought with the objective of making the Act

  1. More child-friendly
  2. Involvement of child welfare committee
  3. Contention and implementation of the Act more rigorously
  4. Provision of Legal Aid
  5. Included consensual sex under the age of 18 punishable

Are the offences under POCSO bailable?

All the offences under POCSO are considered as grave status hence they are non-bail able offences.

What age group does POCSO protect?

The government incorporated POCSO to safeguard the children under the age of 18.

What is the provision of punishment if a person possesses child pornographic material and uses it for commercial purposes?

In a situation where a person stores any pornographic material with relation to children and uses it for commercial purpose then he shall face imprisonment of either described term up to a maximum of 3 years or fine or both.

What is the provision under POCSO for sexual harassment of children?

If a person has been convicted under the POCSO Act for sexual harassment then he shall face imprisonment which can be a maximum of 3 years along with fine.

What are the terms of consensual sex under POCSO?

Any sort of consensual sex under the age of 18 is considered punishable under POCSO.

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