Amendment Of POCSO Act!
POCSO or the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act came into being from 2012 that includes provisions related to punishing paedophilic offenders for offenses like child pornography, sexual abuse categorized in penetrative and non-penetrative offenses, or attempt to abuse, etc.
What Exactly Is Pedophilia?
Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder of adults or older adolescent that experience a sexual attraction to prepubescent(time before someone’s body becomes physically mature) children.
The punishment for these heinous offenses in POCSO Act is now under the amendment. Moreover, the offenders in such cases are generally people with paedophilic tendencies and these people even after release from jail still commit the shameful offense over and over again. On April 21, Saturday, after the spine-chilling rape case in Kathua, the central government amended the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The government may bring an ordinance to implement the changes, considering the urgency of the situation. The amendment passed for the former law includes:
“Grant of the DEATH PENALTY to Offenders For The Rape Of Minor Child (Under The Age Of 12 Years)”.
States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana
have approved a bill for a death penalty to those who rape girls below the age of 12 year.
Public outrage over Kathua and Unnao rape case has shamed citizen and anger forced the government to take some serious action against such heinous crimes. However, the POCSO Act is not valid in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where the incident of 8-year-old girl rape, has actually happened. The government has passed a law that awaiting the President’s assent.
Here Are The Highlights Of Amendment In POCSO Act
Punishment For Child Rapists: Death Penalty & Lifetime Imprisonment
- In case of gang-rape of a girl aged below 12 years-then, Punishment will be- Death Penalty or Life Imprisonment.
- In case of rape of a girl aged below 12 years of age, then, Punishment will be- Death Penalty, Life Imprisonment or a Minimum Imprisonment of 20 years.
- In case of gang-rape of a girl aged below 16 years, then Punishment will be- Lifetime Imprisonment.
- In case of rape of a girl aged below 16 years, then Punishment will be- Imprisonment for 20 years (earlier it was 10 years) which is extendable to lifetime imprisonment.
- In case of rape of a woman, then Minimum Punishment will be Imprisonment for 10 years (earlier it was 7 years) which is extendable to lifetime imprisonment.
Time Limit For Investigation And Trials Under The Amendment
- Investigation of all cases of rape should be completed within 2 months.
- The trial of all rape cases should be completed in 2 months.
- Time limit of 6 months is given for disposal of appeals in rape cases.
Restrictions On Bail
- No provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
- Before deciding upon bail application concerning the rape of a girl under 16 years of age, the court has to give notice of 15 days to the public prosecutor and the representative of the victim.
Other Provisions Of The Amendment
- The present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to the victim will be extended to all districts in the country to help the rape victim recover better.
- For speeding the investigation a dedicated manpower will be provided for investigation of rape cases.
- Special forensic labs will be set up in each State/UT exclusively for rape cases.
- Special forensic kits will be provided to all Police Stations and hospitals for rape cases.
- After consultation with States/UTs and High Courts, a New Fast Track Courts will be set up.
- Creation of new posts of public prosecutors in consultation with States/UTs.
- National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sex offenders. This list will be further shared with states/UTs to track, monitor, investigate and verify better with police.
Applicability Of POCSO Act Should Also Apply In J&K, Hope It Gets IMPLEMENTED!
The Lack Of POCSO In Territory Of
JAMMU AND KASHMIR IS VERY ALARMING.
Several activists have demanded by signing petitions to make POCSO applicable in jammu and kashmir by using the #justiceforasifa.
Hailing from J&K has made it tough for Punishing the offenders of Asifa, So getting POCSO implemented in J&K is Still A Fight.
Fight For Child Protection Law in J&K
The fight for a child protection act or law in Jammu Kashmir is still a fight. As the lack of legislation in J&K is stressing as getting the offenders behind bars is still a tough fight. The Ranbir Penal Code (J&K’s substantive criminal legislation) does have punishment for certain offenses, however, child abuse law is the need of the hour, with increasing rapes reported regularly. This absence of law has increased offenses like trafficking, murder etc, which doesn’t safeguard the abused victims due to lack of legal right on happening of such events. So, in the Asifa case, this POCSO applicability cannot be imposed as it doesn’t apply to J&K, being of special status unless further ratified by the State Assembly of the State.
This law is an outcome of nationwide outrage over the increasing rape cases in our country. The Central government is planning to amend the law to ensure the death penalty for those convicted of raping children aged below 12, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday.
Maneka Gandhi Said-
“I and the Ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act…,
she was “deeply disturbed” by the Kathua rape case
and all other rape cases involving children.
A Ministry official Said-
“We (the WCD Ministry) are working on an amendment
and once finalized we will send it to the Law ministry.
This Is Going to Happen Soon.”