Cabinet approves amendments in POCSO Act, including death penalty


New Delhi,  In a landmark step, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the amendments to make provisions for the death penalty in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The amendments in the POCSO Act also proposed fines and jail term to curb child pornography. "The amendments made to address the need for stringent measures required to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country on one hand and to address the menace of relatively new kind of crimes on the other hand," said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar while briefing about Cabinet decisions here. He said the amendments will be made in section – 2, section- 4, section – 5, section – 6, section -9, section – 14, section - 15, section 34, section- 42 and section – 45 of POCSO Act, to address the aspects of child sexual abuse in appropriate manner. "Section – 4, Section – 5 and section – 6 are proposed to be amended to provide option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for committing sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child to protect the children from sexual abuse,' the Minister added. The amendments are also proposed in Section -9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and other similar situations and in case where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault. Section -14 and section 15 of the POCSO Act, are also proposed to be amended to address the menace of the child pornography.  It is proposed to levy fine for not destroying or deleting or reporting the pornographic material involving a child with an intention to share or transmit it.