Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 comes into force
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 – was passed by Parliament in May, 2012 to address the evil of child sexual abuse.
Definition of a child under the Act:
- The Act is gender-neutral and defines a child as any person below the age of eighteen years.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 provides:
- Precise definitions for different types of Child abuse crimes
- Stringent punishments
- Mandatory reporting
- Child-friendly procedures
- Under Section 45 of the Act, the power to make rules rests with the Central Government
- Qualifications and experience of interpreters
- Arrangements for care and protection
- Criteria for award of compensation by the Special Court
The rules rely on the structures established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
The second episode of Aamir Khan’s Show Satyamev Jayate on 13th May 2012 addressed the issue of child sexual abuse. The show brought forward shocking sexual offenses that adults have been committing on children. After few days, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2012 – was passed by Parliament in the same month of May, 2012.
The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) have been made the designated authority to monitor the implementation of the Act.
Thus, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 provides:
- Precise definitions for different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
- Stringent punishment graded as per the gravity of the offence, with a maximum term of rigorous imprisonment for life for certain offences, and fine.
- Mandatory reporting of sexual offences.
- Punishment for a person if he provides false information with the intention to defame any person, including a child.
- Child-friendly procedures for reporting of offences, recording of evidence, investigation and trial.
- Under Section 45 of the Act, the power to make rules rests with the Central Government.
- Qualifications and experience of interpreters, translators, special educators, and experts; arrangements for care and protection and emergency medical treatment of the child; compensation payable to a child who has been the victim of a sexual offence; and the manner of periodic monitoring of the provisions of the Act by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights.
- The rules rely on the structures established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, such as Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Units, to make arrangements for the care and protection of the child and to ensure that the child is not re-victimized in the course of investigation and trial. Where a child is taken to a medical facility for emergency medical care, no magisterial requisition or other documentation may be demanded by such facility prior to rendering medical care.
- Criteria for award of compensation by the Special Court, which includes the gravity of the offence; loss of educational opportunity or employment as a result of the offence; and disability, disease or pregnancy suffered as a consequence of the offence. The compensation may be awarded at the interim stage as well as upon completion of trial.
– India has the largest child population in the world.
– Almost 42% of India’s total population is under 18 years of age.