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The Delhi Judicial Examination 2022 is just around the corner, and we have endless subjects to memorize. So why not start with something short and uncomplicated to boost your confidence?
Here is the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) in a nutshell.
Structure of the Act
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) contains 46 sections in addition to the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Rules, 2020.
Since its enactment, the Act has undergone four Amendments namely:
- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013
- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019
- The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019
The Objective of the Act
- POCSO Act, 2012 aims to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography. Further, it contains provisions for the establishment of special courts for the trial of offences mentioned under the Act. Not only that, but the Act also empowers the state government by virtue of A-15 of the Indian Constitution to make special provisions for children.
- For proper development, the right to privacy and confidentiality of the child must be protected at all stages of judicial proceedings by every person.
- Ensure healthy physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development of the child.
- State parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child are required to undertake appropriate measures to prevent inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any lawful sexual activity, exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices, and exploitative use of children in pornographic performance and materials.
Offences covered under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences
Chapter- II & III of the Act mention a total of six offences. These are:
- Sexual Assault (Sections 7-8)
- Penetrative Sexual Assault (Sections 3-4)
- Aggravated Sexual Assault (Sections 9-10)
- Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault (Sections 5-6)
- Sexual Harassment (Sections 11-12)
- Child Pornography (Sections 13-15)
Procedure for Reporting of Cases and Recording Statement of the Child
Chapters V and VI describe procedures regarding reporting of cases, punishment for failure to report, punishment for making false complaints, recording statements of the child by the Magistrate, and medical examination of the child.
Apart from that, the Act puts the responsibility on the media, studio, and photographic facilities to report cases if they come across any material or object which sexually exploitive of the child. Section 23 of the Act provides the procedure for the media not to disclose the identity of the victim or give any comment or publish any other material.
Establishment, Procedure, and Power of Special Courts
For speedy trials, special courts have been established under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The Courts have the power to take cognizance of an offense, record evidence, and even provide for a translator or interpreter for recording the evidence. In addition to that, the Act also provides guidelines for conducting the trial.
The Act is not so difficult, to begin with. We can expect to get 2-5 questions from it. So, it is advisable not to skip this Act and focus on understanding the procedure mentioned under the Act.
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