J&K only state yet to enforce law for prevention of child sexual abuse

Offenders can be sentenced to imprisonment between three and 10 years depending upon the nature of sexual assault under POSCO.

SHAFAQ SHAH
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 21 2018 1:09AM | Updated Date: Feb 21 2018 1:09AM
J&K only state yet to enforce law for prevention of child sexual abuseRepresentational Pic

A law for preventing sexual abuse of children has been implemented in all states except Jammu and Kashmir, making it difficult for the judiciary to deal with the offenders.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, (POCSO), 2012, aims at providing protection to children (individuals below the age of 18) from sexual violence including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the inclusion of children in pornography and provides for establishment of special courts for trials of such offenders and for related matters.

The clause (3) of the article 15 of the constitution, inter alia, empowers the state to make special provisions for children. Also, the state parties to the convention on the rights of the child are required to undertake all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent – the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity, the exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices and the exploitative use of children in pornographic performance and materials.

Offenders can be sentenced to imprisonment between three and 10 years depending upon the nature of sexual assault under POSCO. 

The POSCO also has specific guidelines on how to report a case of child sexual abuse.

The law also calls for the designation of special courts. For the purpose of providing a speedy trial, the state government shall in consultation “with the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, designate for each district a court of session to be a Special Court to try the offences under the Act”.

An official associated with the social welfare department said on the condition of anonymity, “The department has to implement this act. It need not ask anyone to implement it for it is the nodal department.”

He said for any legislation the nodal department has to draft a bill, the bill goes to the law department, and after the law department analysis the bill it moves to the finance department for the financial implications and after that it goes to the general administrative department and after these three departments give the concurrence it goes to the legislator for their approval and then the rest of the procedures are followed. 

The minister for social welfare department, Sajad Lone, when contacted for his version, dropped the call when this reporter introduced herself.

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