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Bill to check child sex abuse is approved
The bill seeks to protect children from sexual abuse, sexual harassment, inappropriate fondling and pornography and provides for special courts for arbitration in such cases.

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday passed a Bill dealing exclusively with sexual offences against children providing for a jail term upto seven years and a fine of Rs50,000 for such crimes.

The Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, also legalised consensual sex with a person aged between 16-18 years. The new law will cover all new aspects of sexual offences against children not covered elsewhere.

The proposed Bill aims at protecting children against offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography and provide for establishment of special courts for trial of such offences.

The Bill provides for treating sexual assault as “aggravated offence” when it is committed by a person in position of trust or authority including a member of the security forces, police officer, public servant, management or staff of a children’s home, hospital or educational institution.

It will be treated as an aggravated offence where the child victim is below 12 years or has mental or physical disability or the sexual offence causes grievous hurt or injury to the child with long term adverse effect on the child’s mind and body. 

The punishment for such an offence would be imprisonment of upto seven years with fine. The punishment for penetrative sexual assault has been proposed to be at least five years in jail and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000.

Sexual assault also includes fondling the child in an inappropriate way which will invite a penalty of minimum three years in jail.

Section seven of the Bill provides for “no punishment” if the consent for sexual act has been obtained with a person aged between 16 and 18 years.

There is a special provision in the Bill preventing abuse of children for pornographic purpose or possessing pornographic material involving children.

The media has been barred from reporting the cases without having authentic information and from disclosing the identity of the child.

 

Source: iGovernment