INCREASED IN POCSO CASES (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Issue related to women)

News-CRUX-10     25th July 2023        

Context: There was an increase of 12% in Pocso cases reported till June this year in the city compared to the same period last year. 

  • Arrests also saw a sharp rise of nearly 35%.
  • According to Delhi Police’s data till last month, nearly 870 cases were reported, whereas in 2022, during the same period, it was 776. 
  • The data also shows that as many as 1,109 people were arrested in 2023, whereas last year it was 822.

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act

  • About: The POCSO Act was enacted in 2012 to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography while safeguarding the interests of children at every stage of the judicial process.
  • Salient features 
    • The act defines child as any individual aged below 18 years of age.
    • There are multiple forms and acts of sexual abuse defined under this act that is not just limited to pornography, harassment, or penetrative/non-penetrative offenses.
    • These acts would be considered ‘aggravated’ if the child is mentally ill and/or the perpetrator comes from a position of authority and/or trust like a family member, doctor, teacher, etc.
    • The prevention of ‘re-victimization’ of the child within the judicial system is of utmost importance as this act allows a policeman to act under the role of a child protector throughout the investigation.
    • The process of investigation is to be made as child-friendly as possible, and justice to be served promptly within a year front the reporting of the incident.
    • The setting up of ‘Special Courts’ has been done under this act which will exclusively deal with such offenses with the sensibility and sensitivity they need.
    • The central government is given the authority to make rules under the 45th section of the act.
    • The State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) and the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) have been given the authority to monitor the implementation of the act’s provisions.
    • The act makes the reporting of a sexual offense mandatory. 
    • Misuse of these laws with the purpose of defamation of the person is punishable.
    • It provides stringent deterrents for the commission of offences against children ranging from a minimum of 20 years of imprisonment to the death penalty in case of aggravated penetrative sexual assault.
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