Q. Consider the following statements regarding the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act:
1. The Act defines a child as any person below sixteen years of age.
2. It is a gender neutral law.
3. It recognizes consensual sexual acts among children or between a child and an adult.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] 2 and 3 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B
Notes:

To deal with child sexual abuse cases, the Government has brought in a special law, namely, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The Act has come into force with effect from 14th November, 2012 along with the Rules framed there under. 

Provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act: 

  • The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age and regards the best interests and well-being of the child as being of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child. 
  • It defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography, and deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority vis-à-vis the child, like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor 
  • It also seeks to establish Special Courts for speedy trial of such offences. The Act stipulates that a case of Child Sexual Abuse must be disposed of within one year from the date the offence is reported. 
  • It also provides for relief and rehabilitation of the child, as soon as the complaint is made. The Special Juvenile Police Unit or the local police are also required to report the matter to the Child Welfare Committee within 24 hours of recording the complaint, for long term rehabilitation of the child. 
  • It is gender neutral law, wherein the law takes cognizance of sexual crimes committed against both girls and boys under the age of 18 years. 
  • It does not recognize consensual sexual acts among children or between a child and an adult. Prosecutes any person (including a child) for engaging in a sexual act with a child irrespective of whether the latter consented to it. 

Source: ForumIAS factly 

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