INTRODUCTION TO THE THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT, 2012 [POCSO]

THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT, 2012 [POCSO]

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) designated as Monitoring Authority of the Act

The POCSO Act is only applicable to child survivors and adult offenders. In case two children have sexual relations with each other, or in case a child perpetrates a sexual offence on an adult, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, will apply.

PUNISHMENT AT A GLANCE [ SIX OFENCES] 

  1. Penetrative Sexual Assault (Section 3) on a child — Not less than seven years which may extend to imprisonment for life, and fine (Section 4)
  2. Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault (Section 5) — Not less than ten years which may extend to imprisonment for life, and fine (Section 6)
  3. Sexual Assault (Section 7) i.e. sexual contact without penetration — Not less than three years which may extend to five years, and fine (Section 8)
  4. Aggravated Sexual Assault (Section 9) by a person in authority — Not less than five years which may extend to seven years, and fine (Section 10)
  5. Sexual Harassment of the Child (Section 11) — Three years and fine (Section 12)
  6. Use of Child for Pornographic Purposes (Section 13) — Five years and fine and in the event of subsequent conviction, seven years and fine Section 14 (1)

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AGGRAVATED OFFENCE MEANS[ 14 CASES]

Committed by a person in position of trust or authority such as police/ army/ security personnel, public servants or family members

Committed by persons in management or staff of educational, medical or religious Institution

Committed by persons in management or staff of jail, remand home, protection home, observation home, or any other place of custody or care and protection Offences Covered under the Act:

Gang assault

When offence causes grievous hurt

When offence causes physical or mental disability

When offence is committed taking advantage of child’s mental or physical disability When offence is committed more than once Offences Covered under the Act:
When child is below 12 years of age
When offender is a relative of the child
When attempt is also made to murder the child
When offence is committed and child is made to strip and/ or pared naked in public Offences Covered under the Act:
When committed by a person who has been previously convicted of having committed such an offence, either under this law or any other law
When offence is committed in course of communal or sectarian violence

Procedures and powers of Special Courts :

• Evidence to be recorded within 30 days of the Special Court taking cognizance of the offence (Section 35)
• Completion of trial by Special Court within a year from the date of taking cognizance of offence (Section 35)

Role of Juvenile Justice functionaries under the POCSO Act.

(i) SJPU or local police on receiving information relating to an offence that has been or likely to be committed,should take following steps:

• Record the complaint; {Section 19 (2) (a)}

• Assess whether the child is in need of care and protection; {Section 19 (5)}

• Facilitate Emergency Medical Care; {Rule 5 & Section 19 (5)}

• Facilitate Medical Examination; {Rule 4 (2) (c) & Section 19 (5)}

• Facilitate Recording of Statement by Magistrate (Section 25)

• Report to the Special Court and Child Welfare Committee; {Section 19 (6)}

• Provide information to the informant and victim.

(ii) District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) shall maintain a register containing contact details of interpreters, translators and special educators in their district under Rule 3 (1), POCSO Rules and should share the same with SJPU, local police, magistrate and Special Court to enable them to make available such services as and when required.

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Guidelines

Guidelines for District Magistrates and Senior Superintendent of Police for cases under Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015 and POCSO  Act 2012

Guidelines for the Use of Professionals and Experts under the POCSO Act, 2012

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THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT, 2012 [POCSO]