What is POCSO Act?
Pocso Act Punishment and full form. The POCSO came into force with effect from November 14, 2012. The Protection from child from sexual offences act. Therefore, the primary object of this Act is to protect the children from sexual harassment, sexual assault and pornography.
In addition, this act provides a child-friendly mechanism for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offence. However, the government has established a special court for trial. Hence, this act provide stringent punishment as the nature and gravity of offence. As per this act child means a person below eighteen years of age.
Silent Features (Pocso Act Punishment and full form of Pocso)
- The Act states a child as any person under eighteen years of age, and respects the best interests and well-being of the child as being of supreme importance at every phase, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.
- However, the act also states about kind of sexual abuse, which includes penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography, and believes a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances.
- However, those people who use children for sexual purpose and determination are also punishable under the provisions relating to abetment in the Act. Therefore, the Act suggests strict punishment graded as per the seriousness of the offence, with a maximum term of rigorous imprisonment for life, and fine.
POCSO Act Punishment
Chapter 2 of the Act say Sexual Offences against children.
And provided five types of different offences from A to E.
A. Section 3 – the meaning of Penetrative sexual assault.
When a person said to have committed Penetrative Sexual Assault if
a) he penetrate his penis into mouth, vagina, anus or urethra of a child and make that child to do same thing with him or with any other person.
b) he insert any object or part of the body not the penis into the urethra, anus or vagina of the child and make that child to do same thing with him or with any other person.
c) he manupulates any part of the body of the child and cause penetration into urethra, anus or vagina make that child to do same thing with him or with any other person.
d) he applies his mouth to urethra, anus, penis or vagina of the child and make that child to do same thing with him or with any other person.
Section 4 of the POCSO Act provides the following punishment for penetrative sexual assault.
1)Punishment for penetrative sexual assault is the imprisonment shall not less than ten years and which may increase to imprisonment for life and also liable for fine.
2) Punishment for penetrative sexual assault on a child below sixteen years of age – Imprisonment for a term which shall not less than twenty years and which may increase to imprisonment for life. Which means imprisonment of the remaining natural life of that person. Also liable for fine.
3) That fine amount should be just and reasonable and that shall pay to the victim for her medical and rehabilitation expenses.
B) Section 5 of the Act provides meaning Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault.
a) Whoever a police officer commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
- within the jurisdiction of police station where he is appointed
- in the building of station house
- during the courses of his duties
- where he is identified as police officer
b) Whoever a member of arm forces or security forces commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
- withing the jurisdiction of person where he is deployed
- under any area of arm forces
- during the courses of his duties
- where he is identified as member of security or arm forces
c) Whoever a public servant commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
d) Whoever a staff of hospital, remand home, observation home commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
e) Whoever a staff of hospital, whether government or private commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
f) Whoever a staff of educational institution, religious institution commits penetrative sexual assault on a child
g) whoever commits penetrative sexual attack by gangs on child
Section 6 provides punishment for Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault. That is rigorous imprisonment which shall not less than ten years. Which may extent to life imprisonment also liable for fine.
C) Section 7 says the meaning of sexual assault.
If a person with sexual intention touches the vagina, penis, breast, anus of the child or make that child to touch the vagina, penis, anus, breast of such person or any person. Which involve physical contact without penetration.
Punishment for sexual assault provided in section 8 of the POCSO Act. That is imprisonment of either description which shall not less than three years. Which may extend to five years and also liable for fine.
D) Section 9 meaning of Aggravated sexual assault.
If Police Officer commits sexual assault on a child within the jurisdiction of the police station in which he is appointed. It also includes the premises of the station house and in the course of his duty. If a person commits sexual assault on a child who is a member of arm forces and security. Of if a person commits sexual assault on a child who is a public servant, staff of jail, remand home, observation home etc. It also includes staff of hospital, staff of educational institution etc.
Punishment sexual assault provided in section 10 of the POCSO Act. That is imprisonment of either description which shall not less than five years. Which may extend to seven years and also liable for fine.
E) Section 11 provides the meaning of sexual harassment.
When a person utters any word or makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object or part of the body. Such an act may with the intention that a child shall hear such sound or work or shall see such gesture or any object. If also include showing of any media for pornographic purpose etc.
As per section 12 of the POCSO Act, Punishment for sexual harassment is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years.
Chapter 3 says about using a child for pornographic purposes.
As per section 13 who uses a child for sexual gratification. Which includes representation of sexual organs of the child. And also the use of a child in real sexual acts or indecent representation of the child.
And punishment has provided in section 14 of the POCSO Act. Imprisonment that may extend to five years.
And Section 15 of the POCSO Act provides punishment for the storage of pornographic material involving children. Which is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or both.
Section 29 and 30 of POCSO Act provides presumptions
S.29 of POCSO Act says that When a person has prosecuted for committing or abetting or attempting to commit any offence under section 3, 5, 7 and 9 of POCSO Act, the special court shall presume that such person has attempted, abated or committed the offence as the case may be unless contrary is proved.
However, Section 30 says that presumption of culpable mental state- Where in any offence under this act which requires a culpable mental state of the accused, the special court shall presume the mental state of the accused. But it shall be the defence of the accused to prove the fact the accused shall had no such mental state. However, the prosecution has to prove their case beyond reasonable ground and not merely by preponderance of probability.
Ministry of Women and child development issued guidlines under section 39 of the POCSO Act
Here is the full act for reference in pdf click here
also read what is FIR and who can file?