The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2019
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was presented in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Mr. Virendra Kumar on January 8, 2019. The Bill changes the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012. The Act looks to shield kids from offenses, for example, rape, inappropriate behavior, and sex entertainment.
The following points talks about the current punishment given in the Act and the changes proposed to bring with the Bill.
• Penetrative Sexual Assault: Under the Act, an individual is guilty of "penetrative rape" in the event that he:
(I) infiltrates his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra or rear-end of a kid, or
(ii) causes a child to do likewise, or
(iii) embeds some other article into the youngster's body, or (iv) applies his mouth to a kid's body parts. The punishment for such offense is imprisonment between seven years to life and a fine. The Bill expands the base punishment from seven years to ten years. It further includes that if an individual pleads guilty for penetrative rape on a youngster beneath the age of 16 years, he will be culpable with detainment between 20 years to life, alongside a fine.
• Aggravated penetrative rape: The Act characterizes certain activities as "Aggravated penetrative rape." These incorporate situations when a cop, an individual from the military, or a local official submits penetrative rape on a youngster. It likewise covers situations where the guilty party is a relative of the child, or if the attack harms the sexual organs of the youngster or the child winds up pregnant, among others. The Bill adds two additional grounds to the meaning of irritated penetrative rape. These include
(I) assault which causes death of the child and
(ii) assault committed during a natural disaster.
• Currently, the punishment for irritated penetrative rape is detainment between 10 years to life and a fine. The Bill expands the base punishment from ten years to 20 years, and the greatest punishment is capital punishment.
• Aggravated rape: Under the Act, "rape" incorporates activities where an individual touches the vagina, penis, butt or bosom of a child with sexual expectation without entrance. "Disturbed rape" incorporates situations where the guilty party is a relative of the tyke, or if the attack harms the sexual organs of the youngster, among others. The Bill adds two additional offenses to the meaning of aggravated sexual assault. These include (I) assault committed during a natural disaster, and
(ii) administrating any hormone or any chemical substance, to a youngster to achieve early sexual maturity.
• Pornographic purposes: Under the Act, an individual is guilty of using a youngster for obscene purposes if he uses a child in any type of media with the end goal of sexual delight. The Act likewise punishes people who use children for pornographic purposes bringing sexual assaults.
• Storage of obscene material: The Act penalizes storage of pornographic material for business purposes with a discipline of as long as three years, or a fine, or both. The Bill corrects this to give that the discipline can be detainment between three to five years, or a fine, or both. Moreover, the Bill includes two different offenses for storage of pornographic material including children.
These include: (I) failing to destroy, or erase, or report obscene material including a child, and (ii) transmitting,
propagating, or controlling such material except the reason for reporting it.
Punishments for Offenses given in the Act
• Penetrative Sexual Assault (Section 3) on a kid — Not under seven years which may stretch out to Life Imprisonment(LI), and fine (Section 4)
• Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault (Section 5) — Not under ten years which may stretch up to Life Imprisonment (LI), and fine (Section 6)
• Sexual Assault (Section 7) for example sexual contact without penetration — Not under three years which may stretch out to five years, and fine (Section 8)
• Aggravated Sexual Assault (Section 9) by an individual in power — Not under five years which may stretch out to seven years, and fine (Section 10)
• Sexual Harassment of the Child (Section 11) — Three years and fine (Section 12)
• Use of Child for Pornographic Purposes (Section 13) — Five years and fine and in case of consequent conviction, seven years and fine Section 14 (1)
The Bill is given emphasis on changing the Imprisonment period in offences related to “Using of Child for Pornographic Purposes.
1. Use of Child for Pornographic Purpose – The POCSO Act, 2012 – Maximum Years – 5
2018 Bill – Minimum Years – 5
2. Use of Child for Pornographic purposes resulting in penetrative Sexual Assault – The POCSO Act, 2012 – Minimum – 10 Years, Maximum – Life Imprisonment
2018 Bill – No change
3. Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated penetrative sexual assault –
The POCSO Act, 2012 - Life imprisonment
2018 Bill – Minimum – 20 Years and Maximum – Life Imprisonment, or Death
4. Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in sexual assault -
The POCSO Act, 2012 – Minimum – 6 Years and Maximum – 8 Years.
2018 Bill – Minimum – 3 years and Maximum – 5 Years
5. Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated sexual assault –
Minimum – 8 Years and Maximum – 10 Years
2018 Bill – 5 Years and Maximum -7 Years
The Bill aims to discourage offenders from committing these crimes by increasing the punishments in certain sections like 4, 5 and 6 from 7 years to 10 years, from 10 years to 20 years and from 20 to life imprisonment. The Bill has added the penalty of “Capital Punishment”. In the cases of “Aggravated Sexual Offences”, the bill is sought to bring a change in sexual offences committed during times of natural calamities. The definition of Sexual Assault has been extended and incorporation of hormones or chemical substance inside the body of a child to attain sexual maturity before the proper age will also b considered “sexual offence”. The Amendment includes the penalizing of transferring of pornographic content to children in synchronization with the Information Technology Act. The Bill is proposed to Act as a deterrent to discourage child abuse with strong Penal Provisions.