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Parliament recently passes POCSO Bill, 2019 to provide the death penalty for child abuse

Parliament recently passes POCSO Bill, 2019 to provide the death penalty for child abuse

Parliament recently passes POCSO Bill, 2019 to provide the death penalty for child abuse

Parliament recently has unanimously passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, POCSO, 2019.

In this bill, The Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani seek to provide death penalty for serious sexual assault on children and greater penalties for other crimes against minors was approved through Parliament, after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha on 1st August 2019.

The new amendment in the POSCO Bill

The minimum penalty for 'aggravate penetrative sexual assault' is suggested to be increased from 10 years to 20 years. The maximum penalty for this offence is recommended as the death penalty.

'Aggravated penetrative sexual assault', according to the Act, contains cases when a police officer, a member of the armed forces, or a public servant carries out penetrative sexual assault on a child and also contains cases where the wrongdoer is a relative of the child, or if the assault injures the sexual organs of the child or the child becomes pregnant, amongst others.

As regards 'penetrative sexual assault', the Bill enhances the minimum penalty from 7 years to 10 years. It also added that if an individual commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below the age of 16 years, he shall be punishable with imprisonment between 20 years to life, with a penalty.

The Bill added two more crimes to the definition of aggravated sexual assault. These contain, assault committed during a natural calamity, as well as administrating or help in administering any hormone or any chemical substance, towards a child for the intent of attaining early sexual maturity.

The Bill defined child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct including a child comprising photo, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child.

Smriti Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development had stated that the Centre has allocated funds for starting fast track courts for trying POCSO matters and would closely monitor their establishment and functioning by means of working together with the State Governments and High Courts.

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani stated that directing the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, it wishes at making offences against children gender-neutral.
She also stated that the Bill will provide added legal protection to 39% of population or 43 crore children, regardless of whether they are a girl or boy. 

Besides other things, the Bill defines child pornography so that sexual predators indulging in such heinous crimes could be penalized. 

If the juvenile is involved in any sexual offence against the children, the Smriti Irani stated that cases come under juvenile justice act and the death penalty can be given only if they are above 16 years of age and juvenile justice board finds that they have an adult mind. 

The minister had acknowledged that the rate of conviction in sexual wrongdoings is very slow and informed that under Nirbhaya Fund, 1023 fast track courts would be established across the nation and 18 state governments have already been taken on board by the government. 

She also stated that a national database for such matters has also been started and about 6.2 lakh sexual offence cases have been registered in that base. 

Sharing the details of awareness programme amongst children, the minister stated that CBSE would carry out programmes in school across the nation in order to make aware children regarding good and bad touch.  Also, more than 40,000 teachers shall also be trained for the same, the Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani stated.

Conclusion

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, POCSO, 2019 was required as the crime against has increased in children’s recently. There were cases wherein children have been administered drugs and harmonies to make them sexually active, and thus this law is intended at providing a stringent penalty to such criminals. Thus the much required Bill has been supported and passed by the Parliament recently.

Author:

eStartIndia Team



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