The Union Cabinet may consider a proposal seeking the death penalty in cases of aggravated penetrative sexual assault of children, irrespective of gender, sources said. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was presented in Parliament earlier this year but was not passed in either Houses.
The Bill had sought amendments to sections 4, 5 and 6 of the POCSO Act to provide the option of stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault on a child. The Act defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years and the amendments are aimed at discouraging the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent.
Besides, Section 9 of the Act was also sought to be amended to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters, and in cases where children are administered any hormone or chemical substance to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault.
The offender can be further penalised with a three-year jail term or fine or both for transmitting, propagating and administrating such material, according to the POCSO Bill.
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