Introduction to POCSO Act, 2012

 

POCSO (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act),2012 was established to safeguard children’s from crimes like sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography also under this Act several Special Courts has been established for trial of these offences related with children.

  • This act defines the children below the age of 18 years.
  • POCSO Act came into force on November 14, 2012, and was especially constructed for dealing with the offences of any kind of sexual violence done with children and using them to make any kind of porn substances which hamper’s their tender age.
  • It is a first comprehensive law in India which was specially created to deal the sexual abuse done with children.
  • It also gives the provisions for avoiding the re-victimisation of the children during the judicial process.

 

Amendment’s made in POCSO Act in 2019, under various sections:

Penetrative Sexual Assault:

Under this section “Penetrative sexual assault” includes actions that if anybody “penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a child or compels the child to perform the same” will be prosecuted.

                    Amendment bill of 2019 has increased the minimum punishment for offence U/S 3 of POCSO act, from 7 years to 10 years.

It also gives the imprisonment if the person has committed penetrative sexual assault on any child below the age of 16 year for 20 years.

Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault:

Under this section “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” include cases like “when a police officer, a member of the armed forces, or a public servant commits penetrative sexual assault on a child”.

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                     Amendment Bill of 2019 has added additional grounds in the section of aggravated penetrative sexual assault U/S 5 of POCSO Act which are:

  • Any kind of sexual assault done due to which the death of the child has taken place.
  • Assault committed during a natural calamity, or in any related situations of violence.

                 Amendment bill of 2019 has moreover increased the minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years and has provided death penalty as a maximum punishment to be given.

 

Aggravated Sexual Assault: 

Under the section, “sexual assault” consist the actions where anybody who touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of any children with the motive of sexual intent without any kind of penetration will be prosecuted.

       Amendment bill of 2019 has added two more offences U/S 9 of POCSO Act under the definition of Aggravated Sexual Assault which are:-

 

  1. Assault committed during the period natural calamity.
  2. Administrating or helping in administering any hormone or any kind of chemical substance, to a child for the purpose of attaining early sexual maturity.

 

Child Pornography

Amendment bill of 2019 defines child pornography as any kind of digitally visual depiction of sexually explicit picture or any kind of things which includes picture, videography or any kind of Photoshop item by which it resembles with any child which leads to drag him in any pornography, will be held liable for punishment also Amendment bill of 2019 increases punishments for the offences relating to child pornography.

 

Storage of pornographic material

Amendment bill of 2019 has increased the punishment for storage of pornographic material of any small children in any of their device, which attracts the imprisonment between 3 to 5 years, or fine, or both.

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                Amendment bill of 2019 also adds two other offences in view of storing of Pornographic Material which includes children.

 

(i) If anybody has failed to destroy or delete, or report pornographic material involving a child.

 

(ii) Transmitting, propagating, or administering such material except for the purpose of reporting it.

 

 

Outcome of POCSO Act:

  • By the introduction of POCSO Act, it leads to rapid increase in the number of cases being filled, in against of any kind of sexual violence against children’s.
  • It make the Reporting of sexual offences committing with child to necessary authorities necessary or if anybody knowingly not report this type of offence they will be also get prosecuted.
  • To eliminate the violence against the children’s and to make them aware from these kinds of ill things  “Delhi government’s Women and Child Development (WCD)” department has brought the Stay Safe-Prevention-Educating Children awareness modules for three 3 groups-
  1. Children between 5-8 years
  2. Children between 9-12 years
  3. Children between 12-18 years
  • The Indian parliament has also approved the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act in 2015 which comprises about the future plans of maintaining and creation of new foster care in India and directing registration of all institutions who are working as with housing children for their services by caring and protecting them.
  • POCSO Act has stated relaxed laws by which there will be no bad impact of judicial proceedings in the mind of children as they will not be repeatedly called in courts for their statement.
  • During all the time they are present anywhere related to the matter a counselor will be there with them for their moral support.
  • Their statement is also reordered in the Vulnerable Deposition Box, where there is presence of those persons who are related to case.
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Reason behind the Amendment bill of 2019

  1. This was most needed parameter to make new strict/strong penal provision to punish the offenders who done sexual offences with children, by which they will has a fear in their mind while thinking any kind of this act.
  2. It gives a better image in the citizens of a country that if anything bad will happen with their minor children’s, there is a strong legal mechanism established In India which will help them and punish the offender, or also it gives an example by that punishment in the mind of other persons to not commit any kind of offence again.

 

 

Comparison between amendments done in the quantum of Punishment of using child for pornographic purposes

 

Offence Under POCSO Act, 2012 After 2019 Amendment Bill
Using children’s for making porn  Maximum: 5 year’s  Minimum: 5 year’s
Use of children for making porn and doing penetrative sexual assault  Minimum: 10 year’s

Maximum: Life imprisonment

 Minimum: 10 year’s (if children is below 16 year’s then it will be 20 year’s)

Max: Life imprisonment

Use of children for making porn which leads to aggravated penetrative sexual assault  Life imprisonment  Minimum: 20 year’s

Maximum: Life imprisonment or death.

Use of children for porn purposes resulting in sexual assault  Minimum: 6 year’s

Maximum: 8 year’s

 Minimum: 3 year’s

Maximum: 5 year’s

Use of children for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated sexual assault  Minimum: 8 year’s

Maximum:10 year’s

 Minimum: 5 year’s

Maximum: 7 year’s

 

Author: Pushkar Khanna,
Delhi Metropolitan Education , 2nd year

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