What is POCSO Act?
Pocso Act, 2012 is abbreviation of protection of child from sexual offence Act, 2012. This Act provides protection to all the children under the age of 18 years from sexual assault, sexual harassment, or to use in as a material from sexual content in child pornography. It also protects children from all stage of judicial process and works in interest of child to get justices.
Importance of POCSO Act, 2012
- Protects child from all kind of sexual offence.
- Established special court for the speedy trials.
- IPC, 1860 is general legislation it doesn’t distinguish between the sexual offence of a child and adult. Whereas POCSO Act, 2012 is specially for children.
- It is gender neutral.
- Making mandatory to report child abuse.
- Making child friendly process for report, recording and trial of the proceeding.
Kinds of sexual offence mentioned in POCSO Act,2012
- Penetrative Sexual Assault- if any person inserts or penetrates any private body part or any object in child’s body or makes the child to do so with him/her, then it is called as penetrative sexual assault. It shall be punishable for minimum 10 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and shall also liable for fine.
- Aggravated Penetrative- sexual assault any police officer, teacher, hospital staff or any other person, under whose care and protection the child is or on whom the child trusts, if that person commits penetrative sexual assault with the child or two or more people commit the act, then it is called as aggravated penetrative sexual assault. It shall be punishable for minimum 20-year imprisonment or life time imprisonment or death penalty and shall liable for fine.
- Sexual Assault- if any person touches with sexual intent any private part of child’s body or make the child touch his/her private body part, then it is called as sexual assault. It shall be liable for 3 years imprisonment which may extend to 5 years and fine.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault- any police officer, teacher, hospital staff or any other person, under whose care and protection the child is or on whom the child trusts, if that person commits sexual assault or two or more people commits sexual assault using a weapon, then it is called as aggravated sexual assault. It shall be liable for 5 years of imprisonment which may extend to 7 years and fine.
- Sexual Harassment- if any person with malice commits any act which can be considered sexual in front of a child or makes the child exhibit his/ her body, shows any form of media or pornographic content, then it is called as sexual harassment.it shall liable for imprisonment up to 3 year and fine.
AMENDMENT IN 2019 IN POCSO ACT,2012
- Amendment has focused to make it gender neutral.
- It extended the term sexual assault after 2019 amendment sexual assault also includes incorporate administration of hormones or chemicals in body of children to attend early sexual maturity.
- It clearly defines child pornography which was not defined POCSO Act as well as IPC. Therefore, child pornography means any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child including photograph, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child.
- It also penalizes the transmitting of child pornography.
- It enhanced the punishment of the offender upto death penalty.
- Government also established 1000 special courts for the speedy disposal of pending cases.
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