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 Prevention Of Children Against Sexual Activities Act, 2012 

Date of Publish - Monday, 18th December 2017

Prevention of Children against Sexual Activities Act, 2012

 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences(POCSO) Act, 2012 was formulated with the objective of protecting children against offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. Also, it provides for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The act is first of its kind which aptly addresses the issue of protection of male child as well.  
Although the Act holds good and renders an ample number of advantages, however, it will be wrong to label it as a masterpiece legislation which is free from any sought of lacunae. The loopholes present in the Act often turns out to be advantageous for the offenders and ill towards the society. The Act inherits within itself several loopholes. To mention a few; 
1. Even a gesture of mere touch, pat, brush on any part of the body is cardinally brought under the term ‘Sexual Penetration’ under section 376 of Indian Penal Code. Similarly, under POCSO bare touching is considered equitable to sexual penetration. 
2. The analysis of the provisions contained in the POCSO Act plainly reflects the biases it holds towards the victims. The act not only facilitates unfair advantage to the concerned victim but also undignified the principles of natural justice by failing to act in accordance with the justice, equity and good conscience. 
3. It has been observed that often there arise cases wherein although the child is an adult with the age of 22-23 years, however, he or she possesses mental instability say, for instance, an adult is declared to be of age four mentally by the clinical psychologists. Thus, in such a situation it becomes really difficult for the advocates to bring the concerned act under the provisions of POCSO Act. The act is silent on such an integral issue which leads to denial of remedy and the justice to many victims making them eligible for the societal torture. 
4. Apart from taking cognizance of the trivial touch, it renders the existent relations in the society at stake. Say, for instance, if a father out of love for his daughter pats on his daughters back it might lead to putting innocent father straight behind the bars since mere pat on his daughters back amounts to forceful penetration under the POCSO Act. 
5. The people are often seen taking advantage of the act to degrade the position of an individual or his family in the society. The Act opens the room for manipulation and misuse by the victims and the other person for succeeding in their inappropriate motives.  Say for instance if a girl is below 18 years of age and is immature she might possibly get influenced by someone and complaint against the concerned accused thereby taking erroneous advantage of the legal remedy available to her. Thus, this opens the room for manipulation and misuse. 
6. People are ignorant about the existence of such an act which renders protections to the children from all forms of sexual abuse. There exists lack of awareness amidst the people or the society which is to be governed by the act. No steps have yet been taken even after the 5 years of commencement of this act by any administrative bodies to raise awareness relating to the same. 
7. This act further curtails the personal liberty of the individuals who are below the age of 18 years by criminalizing even the consensual sex between two adolescent or the children below the age of 18 years.

It not only leads to violations of the personal liberty guaranteed to them by the Constitution of India but also, makes them a victim of societal harassment. 

Author :
Shashank Painuly IMIA007


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