Date: Friday, December 7, 2018
Location: New Delhi
Administering injections, chemical substances or hormones to a child below 18 years to induce early sexual maturity and then force the child into sexual activity may soon become an offence under the “aggravated sexual assault” clause under section 9 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.
This is one of the amendments that is part of the proposal of the ministry of women and child development that also seeks to introduce stronger punitive measures against those in possession of pornographic material involving kids. Forwarding such content on social media and WhatsApp is sought to be made punishable.
The offence would invoke a punishment of not less than five years imprisonment that may extend to seven years and fine. The proposal with amendments to Pocso Act after approval from the law ministry is learnt to have been approved by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi. The final proposal is likely to be sent for approval of the Cabinet.
The proposal also includes amendments to Pocso to extend the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018 that prescribes death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years, to the male child survivor as well. The amendment to the criminal law in August by Parliament replaced the ordinance promulgated in April, following an outcry over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of another woman at Unnao in UP. Now with the winter session of Parliament starting next week, the government is hoping the amendments will be passed by the House.
The WCD ministry’s Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018 also lists “administering injections or hormones for early sexual maturity” in the “aggravated forms of trafficking offences” category.
Read The Times Of India (source) article here.