Updated: Aug 27, 2019
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 was formed to protect children from offences of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and pornography and to provide a child-friendly system for the trial of these offences.
POCSO received the President's assent on 19 June 2012 and was notified in the Gazette of India the next day.
All offences under the POCSO Act are considered as grave offences. Hence they are non-bailable and cognisable and the trial are to be conducted by the Court of Sessions.
The Act defines certain actions as “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” which include cases when a police officer, a member of the armed forces, or a public servant commits penetrative sexual assault on a child.
Under the Act, “sexual assault” includes actions where a person touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of a child with sexual intent without penetration.
Also, “Aggravated sexual assault” includes cases where the offender is a relative of the child, or if the assault injures the sexual organs of the child, among others.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019
The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Mr. Virendra Kumar on January 8, 2019 and amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
This bill seeking to provide death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children and greater punishments for other crimes against minors.
It was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 29 July,2019 by defining child pornography and making it punishable.
On 1st August,2019, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared by the Lok Sabha which seeks to provide death penalty in cases of aggravated sexual assault on children and increases the scope and severity of punishments for other crimes against minors, including child pornography.
Finally ,the bill will now require the President’s assent to turn it into law.