The parliament passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) in 2012. Aspirants studying for the I.A.S. test should read this article because it covers a crucial topic in the exam. Also, This article covers the Full form of the POCSO Act 2012, its Goals, Punishment, Provisions, and PDF, as well as other relevant data. This is an important topic for both your prelims and mains. So let’s get this started.
- What is the POCSO Act?
- The POCSO Act’s Necessity
- Provisions and Punishment under the POCSO Act
- The POCSO Act's major functions
- General Principles
- Conclusion- POCSO Act
- FAQ- POCSO Act
- Editor's Note | POCSO Act
What is the POCSO Act?
- In 2012, the POCSO Act was passed to protect minors under the age of 18 from sexual assault, sexual harassment, Sexual abuse, and pornography.
- POSCO 2019 amendment bill was just enacted to impose fines and imprisonment for child pornography. This bill seeks to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act of 2012, which is a comprehensive law that protects children from sexual assault, harassment, and pornography while protecting their interests throughout the judicial process by integrating child-friendly methods of reporting, Investigation, recording of evidence, and speedy trial of offenses through designated special courts.
The Full form of the POCSO Act is Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses. Now that you are aware of the POSCO Act and its full form. We will also discuss the main characteristics, goals, and punishments of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act. We will also provide a PDF link to the POCSO Act enacted in 2012.
The POCSO Act’s Necessity
India is among the world’s greatest populations of children, with 472 million children under the age of eighteen, according to census figures from 2011. India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which obliges states to ensure the safety and welfare of children.
The state’s safety of children is at the reading of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which provides for the protection of children’s rights. The Goa Children’s Act, 2003 was the only particular piece of child abuse law in place prior to the enactment of the POCSO Act.
The following sections of the Indian Penal Code were used to prosecute child sexual abuse:
- Rape in the I.P.C. 375 (1860)
- The I.P.C. (1860) 354- Disregarding a woman’s modesty
- The I.P.C. (1860) 377- Unusual offenses
Such a policy, however, had difficulties because the I.P.C. could not properly safeguard the child because of too many loopholes, such as:
- Other than “conventional” peno-vaginal intercourse, IPC 375 does not protect male victims or anybody else against sexual acts of penetration.
- IPC 354 does not have a statutory definition of “modesty.” It has a light penalty and is a punishable offense. Furthermore, it does not protect a male child’s “modesty.”
- The phrase “unnatural offenses” is not defined in IPC 377. It only applies to victims who have been penetrated by their attacker’s sex act and is not intended to criminalize child sexual abuse.
As a result, legislative reform with a focus on child protection was required. Also, don’t miss this article on the Supreme Court of India — Supreme Court of India (Delhi) – Total Judges, Established & Article
Provisions and Punishment under the POCSO Act
The 2019 POCSO (Amendment) Act
- The statute intends to make child abuse offenses gender-neutral.
- The term ‘Sexual Assault’ has been expanded to include the injection of hormones or other substances to youngsters in order for them to reach sexual maturity early in order to commit penetrative sexual assault.
- Kid pornography is defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit activities involving a child, including photographs, videos, and digital or computer-generated images that are indistinguishable from genuine children.
- The modifications also make it illegal to send pornographic content to children, and they intend to align it with the Information Technology Act.
- With a provision for the death penalty, the Act intends to strengthen punishment for sexual offenses against children.
- Penetrative sexual assaults on children under the age of 16 can result in a conviction of up to 20 years in prison, with the possibility of life imprisonment, as well as a fine.
- The statute extends the minimum sentence from 10 to twenty years in cases of severe penetrative sexual assault and the maximum penalty to death.
- To combat child pornography, the Act stipulates that anyone who uses a kid for pornographic purposes faces up to 5years in prison & a fine.
- A second or subsequent conviction, on the other hand, may result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- The government has also established over a thousand fast-track courts to expedite the resolution of pending POCSO cases.
Pornography involving children
- Child pornography is defined as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit behavior involving a child that includes a photograph, video, digital, or computer-generated image (that is) indistinguishable from an actual child,” according to the new law.
- Child pornography might alternatively be defined as “an image generated, adapted, or changed” to show a child. This would contain cartoons, animated images, and so on.
- The Cabinet also increased the fine for possessing child pornography but not removing or reporting it from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000. A person who stores such content for the purpose of redistributing it, except when presenting it in court as evidence, could receive a punishment three-year sentence in POCSO Act.
- There will be no tolerance for child pornography from now on.
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Amendment Act, 2019 included some of these provisions, but it expired.
Death Penalty Is Introduced
- To have a deterrent impact, the measure proposes the death penalty for serious sexual assault on children.
- It alludes to Supreme Court decisions in Machhi Singh (1983) and Devender Pal Singh (2002), in which the court declared that the death penalty should only be used in the most extreme of circumstances.
Concerns about capital punishment
- Family members are frequently the perpetrators of abuse, and imposing such a penalty may deter the crime from being reported. It may also endanger the minor’s life because the maximum penalty for murder is the death penalty.
- After careful consideration, the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, which was established in 2013 in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya case, decided against the implementation of the death penalty in rape cases.
- The death sentence is also abolished in the 262nd Report of the Law Commission of India, except in circumstances of terrorism.
- According to 2016 data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the conviction rate in POCSO cases is 29.6%, with a pendency rate of 89 percent. The two-month trial period that is required in such circumstances is rarely followed.
- According to NCRB data from 2016, less than 3% of child rape cases that went to court resulted in convictions.
The POCSO Act’s major functions
- Individuals under the age of 18 are considered “children” under the Act. The Act is gender-agnostic.
- The Act defines many types of sexual abuse, including but not limited to sexual harassment, pornography, and penetrative and non-penetrative assault.
- The inquiry should be child-friendly, and the case should be closed within one year of being reported.
- The Act calls for the formation of Special Courts to hear such offenses and associated problems.
- Section 45: The central government has the authority to create rules.
- The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) keep an eye on how the Act is being implemented. Both are legal entities.
- Section 42 A: In the event of a conflict with provisions of another legislation, the POCSO Act takes precedence.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act of 2012 outlines 12 key principles that must be adhered to by all parties, including state governments, the Child Welfare Committee, and individuals. The police, special courts, non-governmental organizations, or any other professional present and aid the kid during the trial. They are:
- A child’s right to life and survival must be protected from physical, psychological, mental, and emotional abuse and neglect.
- Always put the child’s best interests first.
- Right to particular preventative measures shows that abused children are more likely to be abused again. Hence preventive measures and training for self-protection should be provided to them.
- The right to be informed – A minor victim or witness must be fully informed about the judicial processes.
- Every child has the right to be heard and express oneself in things that impact him or her.
- Compensation – Compensation may be provided to the child victim for relief and rehabilitation.
- Right to be treated with respect – Throughout the justice process, child victims should be treated with care and compassion.
- Regardless of the child’s cultural, religious, linguistic, or social orientation, the judicial system must be fair and transparent
- Financial, legal, counseling, health, social, & educational services, physical and psychological recovery services, and other types of help
- A child victim’s right to safety must be preserved before, during, and after the legal process.
- Right to Privacy — At all stages of the pre-trial and trial processes, the child’s privacy and identity must be preserved.
- During the legal process, secondary victimization or suffering for a child must be avoided.
Conclusion- POCSO Act
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act will be explained in this article (POCSO). We’ve gone through the POCSO Act in its full form, as well as its provisions and punishments, major functions, and general principles. The PDF of the POCSO Act, which was enacted in 2012, will be mentioned here. You can get more information on the POCSO Act 2012 by clicking here PDF. Don’t forget to check the UPSC official website for essential announcements and reminders. Read the article thoroughly & make a note of important aspects.
FAQ- POCSO Act
The POCSO Act drew headlines earlier in the year 2019 when it was amended to increase the minimum sentence for severe and penetrative sexual assault on children under the age of 16 from 10 to 20 years, with the maximum sentence being life in prison or death.
The offenses are considered non-bailable under the POCSO Act.
An Act to protect children from sexual assault, harassment, and pornography, and establish Special Courts for the trial of such offenses & related circumstances. This law is divided into nine chapters and 46 sections.
The full form of the POCSO Act is the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act
Editor’s Note | POCSO Act
To summarise, study everything you can about the POCSO Act. For example, What is the full form of the POCSO Act, Provisions and Punishment, PDF of the law 2012, why is this act important, Major functions, General principles, and so forth. Also, please check out the link to the POCSO Act PDF copy in this article. Finally, never give up and pursue your dream. Furthermore, the exam takes a long time to perform. Most importantly, it necessitates PLANNING. Aside from them, one must show commitment, dedication, and, most significantly, will power. As a result, one must develop an ideal method and allocate time to all of the exam’s subjects as well as review time. Best wishes