On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The new amendments will include more stringent punishments including the death penalty in cases of aggravated sexual assault against a minor girl or boy, reports Times of India.
According to the reports, the Centre had earlier introduced a bill to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) in May earlier this year. But the bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. The government will reintroduce the bill which provides for the death penalty for rape along with jail terms to check child pornography.
The section 4, 5 and 6 of the POCSO Act are proposed to be amended to include the provision of the death penalty for child rapists, committing brutal sexual assault on a child. The government also intends to amend sections 2, 9, 14, 15, 34, 42 and 45 to add more legal muscle against the rapists.
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that the modification is made to address the need for stringent measures required to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country. The bill will address the menace of relatively new kind of crimes on the other hand.
“Section 14 and 15 of the POCSO Act are also proposed to be amended to address the menace of child pornography. It is proposed to levy fine for not destroying or deleting or reporting the pornographic material involving a child with an intention to share or transmit it,” the government said.
The cabinet has also decided to amend Section 9 of the POSCO act to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and in other situations where children are administered hormone or any chemical substance to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault.