Govt okays death for convicts of grave child sex cases

The Government on Wednesday approved amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 for awarding death penalty to the convicts of grave sexual crimes against children.

Union Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod to the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Besides making punishments “more stringent” for sexual crimes against children, the proposed amendments also seek to curb child pornography, stipulating fines and imprisonment to the convicts of such cases.

“It will make the punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including the death penalty. The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography,” the government later said in a statement, terming the decision as “historic”.

The amendment is “expected” to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act, the government said.

“It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity. The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof,” the government added.

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