Sexual assault against children in india will now subject to invite more stringent punishments, even death penalty. The Union Cabinet on Friday approved proposals in this regard to bring about necessary changes in several sections in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act 2012.
Section-4, Section-5 and Section-6 of the POCSO Act are proposed to be amended to provide option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child to protect the children from sexual abuse, said a government press release.
The release further mentions, to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters, section-9 of the present POCSO Act is proposed to be amended.
“Sexual offence in cases where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attains early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault” are now made aggravated offence under the Section-9 with enhanced penal provision.
“Section-14 and Section-15 of the POCSO Act, 2012 are also proposed to be amended to address the menace of the child pornography. It is proposed to levy fine for not destroying/or deleting/ or reporting the pornographic material involving a child. The person can be further penalized with jail term or fine or both for transmitting/propagating/administrating such material in any manner except for the purpose of reporting as may be prescribed and for use as evidence in court.”
“The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act. It may protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity,” claims the government through its release.
The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and is gender neutral.