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POSCO Act: Cabinet Approves Death Penalty for Aggravated Sexual Assault Against Minors

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| December 28 , 2018 , 17:43 IST

The cabinet approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, on Friday.

As part of the amendments, the cabinet approved death penalty for aggravated sexual assault against children below the age of 18 years.

Addressing a press conference, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "This is a wholesome initiative whereby the entire POCSO architecture is not only strengthened but also enlarged so that artificial medicines or hormones could not be abused to kill the childliness of a child.

Besides this, the amendments also proposed to protect children from assault “in times of natural calamities and disasters and in cases where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault”, the statement added.

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To curb child pornography, the amendment levies a heavy fine for not deleting, destroying child pornographic material. Not reporting child pornography will also invite a hefty fine, the Law Minister said.

The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to Protect the Children from Offences of Sexual Assault, Sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of children.

The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age and regards the best interests and welfare of the child as a matter of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.