It seeks to enhance punishment for sexual offences against children, with death penalty
Significant provisions of the POCSO Amendment Act – 2019
I. Penetrative sexual assault: Under the Act, a person commits “penetrative sexual assault”, then
II. Aggravated penetrative sexual assault: It defines certain actions as “aggravated penetrative sexual assault”. These include cases when a police officer, a member of the armed forces, or a public servant commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
It also covers cases where the offender is a relative of the child, or if the assault injures the sexual organs of the child or the child becomes pregnant, among others.
III. Aggravated sexual assault: 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. “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 Bill increases the minimum punishment from ten years to 20 years, and the maximum punishment to death penalty.
IV. Pornographic purposes: Under the Act, a person is guilty of using a child for pornographic purposes if he uses a child in any form of media for the purpose of sexual gratification. The Act also penalizes persons who use children for pornographic purposes resulting in sexual assault. In addition, the Bill enhances the punishments for certain offences as shown in the following Table.
Punishment for offences for using child for pornographic purposes
Maximum: life imprisonment
Maximum: life imprisonment, or death
Maximum: Eight years
Maximum: Five years
Maximum: 10 years
Maximum: Seven years
V. Storage of pornographic material: The Act penalizes storage of pornographic material for commercial purposes with a punishment of up to three years, or a fine, or both
The Bill amends this to provide that the punishment can be imprisonment between three to five years, or a fine, or both.In addition, the Bill adds two other offences for storage of pornographic material involving children
(i) Failing to destroy, or delete, or report pornographic material involving a child, and
(ii) Transmitting, displaying, distributing such material except for the purpose of reporting it
Pic courtesy: Mathrubhumi English
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