Bill to Amend POSCO Act
Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Smriti Irani reintroduced the Bill to amend the POCSO Act. This will not only intensify punishment but also include death penalty for those who are found committing sexual offences against children.
The Bill is a much-needed one to curb the menace of sexual offences against children. The Bill has provisions for the imprisonment of up to seven years along with a fine to keep a tight rein on child pornography. According to the amendment Bill, those committing penetrative sexual assaults on a child below 16 years of age would be punished with imprisonment up to 20 years, which may be extended to life imprisonment.
As per official data, about 12,609 rape cases were registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences POSCO Act this year and it is estimated that about 1.6 lakh cases of child abuse in India are still pending.
Amendments have been proposed so as to ensure safety, protection and a dignified childhood for children. The Bill retains its original structure calling for stringent punishment for aggravated sexual assault on children under Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the POSCO Act.
The Bill must be passed as it also highlights how children are becoming a very easy target due to their tender age, physical vulnerabilities and inexperience of life and society.
The government must now take strong and stringent measures to put an end to heinous crimes against minors and rising incidents of child sex abuse in India.