POCSO Bill passed; 1023 Courts to deal Child sexual abuse

POCSO Bill passed; 1023 Courts to deal Child sexual abuse

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 24: The Government will set up 1023 Special Courts for the quick disposal of cases relating to child sexual abuse and pornography with a cost of Rs 760 crore, Women and child development Minister Smriti Irani said on Wednesday.

The Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani while replying on the debate on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (Amendment)Bill 2019 in the Rajya Sabha, informed that over 42 lakh school teachers will be trained to prevent this abuse in the schools across the country.

“It would be mandatory for schools to display the ‘Helpline Number’ and other preventive measures on the ‘Notice Board’ of the schools”, Ms Irani said. After her reply in the House, the proposed amendments in the Bill were passed by the voice vote in the Upper House.

Speaking about the amendments, the Minister said that the 18 States have given their consent to constitute Special Courts to deal with the child abuse cases but more and more steps have to be taken to prevent this menace from the society. Explaining the new amendments incorporated in the Bill,Ms Irani said that out of Rs 760 crore for the Special Courts in the States, the Centre will give Rs 470 crore and rest of the amount will bear by the states Government.

“According to the new provisions of the law, the investigation must be completed within two months after lodging of FIR and trail will be started within two months after the filing charge sheet. The case must be disposed off within one year of time frame”, she said.The Minister also informed the House that the Union Home Ministry has prepared a database with details of six lakh 20 thousand sexual offenders against children and this data is shared by the all police headquarters in the states and district level police offices. The Home Ministry has also trained the investigation officials, forensic experts for sample collection and prosecutors for the accurate and scientific investigations in these cases.

The Bill provides the quantum of punishments in Child sexual abuse case. For the victim below 16 years, there is a penal provision of minimum 20 years of imprisonment which can be converted to life imprisonment along with fine. For the cruel sexual offences, the Bill provides 20 years rigorous imprisonment and ‘death punishment’ may also be awarded.

For the Child pornographic Offences,five years imprisonment with fine can be awarded. For the second time offender, the imprisonment can be extended to seven years with fines. For possessing the child pornographic video, there is a provision of fine of Rs five thousand for the first offence, Rs 10000 for the second offence and for circulating these videos, three years of imprisonment with fine have been mooted in the law. (UNI)