New Delhi, Aug 1: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill piloted by the Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani got immense support in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with members cutting across party lines backing the government to impose death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children.
Supporting the draft law, NCP member Supriya Sule said while the Minister needs to be complimented for taking initiatives in bringing the new Bill, the central government should also take measures to curb eve teasing.
Ms Sule said the child welfare centres have almost turned 'addas (hubs)' of exploitation of the children, it is imperative that elected lawmakers visit these centres so that a vigil is maintained in those centres. "If necessary, make it mandatory for MPs to visit such centres," she said.
Ms Sule said any visit to the houses of victims of sexual exploitation becomes breaking news. Steps ought to be taken so that the privacy is maintained in these cases, she said. She also raised the issue of eave teasing in Haryana wherein five girls faced embarrassment and initially none stood by her. "Eave teasing too has several ramification," she remarked.
Another opposition member Kunwar Danish Ali (BSP) - who supported the Bill - said, "as an issue, I am against capital punishment, but if the norm of death penalty remains, the issue of sexual abuse on children is one area, I will support".
The Lok Sabha on Thursday took up a bill entailing amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act by including death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children, besides providing stringent punishments for other crimes against minors.
Piloting the Bill, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said as many as 47 crore citizens of the country will find added protection by the draft law - which has been approved by Rajya Sabha.
"The amendment that I have brought will correct the anomalies in tune with the Indian Penal Code," she said.
Trinamool Congress member Shatabdi Roy also supported the Bill. (UNI)