A bill seeking to provide death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children and greater punishments for other crimes against minors was approved by Parliament, after it was passed by the Lok Sabha. Piloting the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said it aims at making offences against children gender neutral.
The Bill, which was already passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 29, defines child pornography, making it punishable. The Bill, said Irani, would provide added legal protection to 39 per cent of population or 43 crore children, irrespective of whether they are a girl or boy.
Besides other things, she said, the Bill defines child pornography so that sexual predators indulging in such heinous crimes could be punished. Regretting that 5,000 persons followed the child pornography site operated by a person, Irani said, “this is a matter of grave concern for the society. The site had even showed the rape of a minor girl, he added.
The minister acknowledged that the rate of conviction in sexual offences is very slow and informed that under Nirbhaya Fund, 1023 fast track courts will be established across the country and 18 state governments have already been taken on board by the government.