The POCSO Act, of 2012, was made because child sexual abuse was happening more often in India. India has one of the largest populations of children in the world, with nearly 473 million kids under 18 years old. The POCSO Act was created because the government felt responsible for protecting children and wanted to make special laws for cases involving sexual crimes against children.

Before the law was passed by the government in 2012, there was no other rule to handle cases of sexual crimes against children. The laws in the Indian Penal Code from 1860 were also used to handle crimes of a sexual nature against children. To make criminals scared and less likely to do bad things, we needed to make the punishment tougher and meaner.

The current POCSO (Amendment) Act, 2019, explains what ‘child pornography’ means. It says that it is a serious crime to use a child for making pornography or to have or keep pornographic material that involves a child. This has also made the definition of ‘Aggravated sexual assault’ wider, and some of the punishments for this crime now include the death penalty. The government is changing some parts of the POCSO Act, 2012 to better deal with child sexual abuse.

The Act treats everyone equally, regardless of their gender, and focuses on what is best for the child’s overall development, including their body, feelings, thinking abilities, and relationships with others. According to the law, anyone younger than 18 years old is seen as a child. Different types of sexual abuse include forced touching, physical assault, inappropriate comments or actions, and sharing explicit photos or videos. People who sell children for sex can be punished under the Act’s helping provisions. This law creates strict punishments that increase based on how serious the crime is, with the most serious crime being punished with life in prison.

The Act of 2012 was an important law, but some people wanted to make some changes to it. The NCRB’s ‘Crime in India’ 2019 Report shows that in 2019, more crimes were committed against children compared to 2018, with a 4. 5% increase The amount of crimes against children went up a lot after 2016, so we need to give harsher punishments to stop people from doing them. The 2019 Amendment Act changes the punishments for certain crimes. For instance, the minimum sentence for penetrative sexual assault is now 20 years, and in some cases, imprisonment for life may be given. The fine imposed on the person convicted must be fair and reasonable.

Even though the POCSO Act was passed, the number of people found guilty of sexually assaulting children has gone down in the last decade. The number of child sexual assault cases that end in a guilty verdict has gone down. In 2006, 32. 6% of cases resulted in a conviction, but in 2016, only 28. 2% did Meanwhile, the number of cases that are still waiting to be resolved has gone up. In 2006, 81. 3% of cases were pending, but in 2016, it was 89. 6% On July 12, 2019, the Supreme Court became aware of many pending cases about crimes against children, because data showed that from January 1st to June 30th of this year, 24,212 police complaints had been made all over India. More than 24,000 cases have been looked into, and there are still 11,981 of them being examined. The police have officially charged individuals in 12,231 cases. So far, trial courts have resolved 911 cases. These cases make up about 4% of all the cases that have been filed.




Author: Nakshatra Sandeep Dapse, a Student at DES Shri Navalmal Firodiya Law College, Pune

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