Lok Sabha on Thursday passes a bill that will provide a death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children and punishments for other crimes against a minor. Women and Children Development Minister Smriti Irani said, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill 2019, is critical because it clearly defines child pornography and makes it punishable.
The Bill gets support from all parties
The bill moved by Smriti Irani received support from all parties and was passed by voice votes. However, the members demanded that the amendments to the POCSO Act should be referred to the standing committee or selected committee as it makes certain offenses punishable with death.
The bill had already been passed by the Rajya Sabha last week and now, it has got a clearance in Loksabha. It will now be passed to the President for his signature, to bring it as a LAW. The bill also defines child pornography so that sexual predators indulging in such evil crimes could be punished. She further said the court of this country even has the power to punish MLAs and MPs.
Strict measures to be taken
Smriti Irani also regretted that almost 5,000 persons followed a child pornography site which was operated by a single person. Irani said, “This is a matter of grave concern for the society. The site had even shown the rape of a minor girl.” Children were administered drugs and hormones to make them sexually active, she said, the law is aimed at providing stringent punishment to such offenders.
The bill would provide added legal protection to 39% of population or 43 crore children, irrespective of whether they are a girl or boy. “We want to provide added protection to children. In rarest to rare cases death (penalty), she said.
The minister also said that CBSE will carry out programs in schools across the country to make aware children about good and bad touch. And more than 40,000 teachers will be trained for these awareness programs.
It is also said that under the witness protection scheme, all measures such as doing threat assessment of the victim and witness and if required even changing their identity and others were taken to ensure their safety.