The Ministry of Women and Child Development recently consulted the Ministry of Law in regard to of the overriding provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act over other criminal laws and provisions of mandatory reporting of such offences. The Ministry of Law after examining the provisions of POCSO Act with respect to the provisions of CrPC has advised:
- There appears no period of limitation mentioned in Section 19 in regard to reporting of the offences under the POCSO Act, 2012.
- The POCSO Act does not provide for any period of limitation for reporting the child sexual offences.
After receiving the said opinion of the Ministry of Law, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of WCD stated that “Now any victim, at any age, can complain the sexual abuse faced by him/her as a child”. She urged the victims to report the cases through POCSO e-Box.
Often, children fail to report such crimes as the perpetrator in most of the cases is either any family member, a relative or closely known person. The most severe ill-effect of such a heinous act is that the child grows with the trauma of such sexual abuse and carries it forward to subsequent stages of life. Nowadays in order to overcome this trauma, many grown up people have started coming out to report the abuse faced by them as children.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), Act 2012, came into force on 14.11.2012. It is a gender neutral Act which has been enacted to strengthen the legislature for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitations. In this act, a child is defined as any person below the age of 18 years and this act provides protection to all children under the age of 18 years from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
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