An offender under POCSO Act can be given life imprisonment or a death sentence
The Union Cabinet had cleared the ordinance on the POCSO act in April 2018. POCSO Act stands for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences. According to POCSO, the death penalty is given to those convicted of raping a child up to 12 years of age. The death penalty for the child rapists took center space after two separate incidents took place last year in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao and Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua. The Centre had also increased minimum punishment in case of rape of women to 10 years from 7 years. The punishment is also extended to life imprisonment. In gang rape cases of a girl below 12 years, punishment will be either a death sentence or life imprisonment.
Here are the details of the POCSO event.
The POCSO Act, 2012 was established to protect children against offenses like sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and pornography. It was formed to establish a child-friendly system for trial underneath which the convict could be punished. The Act also provides provisions for stopping the re-victimization of the child at the hands of the Judicial system.
The Act specifies different forms of sexual abuse such as non-penetrative assault or penetrative assault. This involves pornography and harassment. POCSO states a sexual assault under certain circumstances is to be considered aggravated if the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a member of the public servant, security forces or armed forces or a person in a position of trust or authority of the childlike police officer, family member, doctor, teacher, or a person-management or staff of a hospital- whether Private or Government.
If you have witnessed an incident and you didn’t report it, you might be jailed under POCSO Act
The POCSO Act also makes it necessary for people to report the cases. It makes it the legal duty of an individual aware of the offense to report the sexual abuse. If the person fails to do so, he/she can be punished with six months imprisonment or a fine. It also states that the evidence should be recorded within 30 days of the incident. The Special Court who hears the matter should be able to complete the trial within a year from the date of taking cognizance of the abuse. It also says that the proceedings of Special Court should be recorded in the camera and the trial should take place in the presence of parents or any other person on which the child has the confidence or has trust in him/her.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act provides punishment against untrue information and false complaints. It also describes strict action against the offender depending upon the gravity of the offense. Imprisonment of at least 10 years which may be extended to life and also fine is designated for aggravated penetrative sexual assault. There are provisions against the children traffickers.
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