What is POCSO Act?
POCSO ACT passed in 2012 to protect the children from sexual abuse. The Act aimed to cover every type of sexual harassment , pornography and child sex abuse.
In April 2018 GOI make some new provisions in the Act in order to strengthening the Act against child sex Abuse.
- Some of provisions are
- Death Sentence
- Imprisonment up to life
- Increase in jail term
- Judicial and infrastructure Changes
What is POCSO Act?
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 received the President’s assent on June 19, 2012
- Protect the children against offences like sexual abuse, sexual harassment and pornography.
- The Act defines a child as any person below 18 years of age.
- The Act defines different forms of sexual abuse which includes penetrative and non-penetrative assault.
- Legal duty of a person aware of the offence to report the sexual abuse. In case he fails to do so, the person can be punished with 6 months’ imprisonment or fine.
- Evidence of the child should be recorded within a period of 30 days.
- Matter should be able to complete the trial within the period of 1 year from the date of taking cognizance of the abuse.
- Special Court proceedings should be recorded in camera and the trial should take place in the presence of parents or any other person in whom the child has trust or confidence
Changes In POCSO ACT 2018
- Minimum Punishment For Rape of women – Increased from 7 to 10 years extendable up to life imprisonment.
- In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life.
- The punishment for gang rape of a girl under 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for rest of life of the convict.
- Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided – minimum 20 years’ imprisonment or imprisonment for rest of life or with death.
- In case of gang rape of a girl below 12 years, punishment will be imprisonment for rest of life or death sentence.