Published: 31st May 2021
What the FAQ: What is POCSO Act and what is its need?
In today's FAQ, we explain to you what the POCSO Act is all about and why it is needed to protect our children
Recently, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said that the state will invoke the POCSO Act in online classes. This was after a teacher of a CBSE school in Chennai was arrested for allegedly misbehaving with students during online classes. Following this, Congress MP Manickam Tagore had asked Prime Minister Modi to expand the scope of the act.
What is the act all about? We take a look and answer the questions you have:
What does POCSO stand for?
POCSO expands to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences.
How old is the act?
The act came to place in 2012 and was brought in to provide a proper legal framework to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. This is done while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process. The act is gender-neutral
What are a child's rights under this act?
A child is entitled to getting their statement recorded at their home, not have contact with the accused during the investigation and not get detained during the investigation. The special courts stipulated under the POCSO Act are also to be child friendly. There are provisions such as making a child-friendly atmosphere in the court premises by allowing a family member, a guardian, a friend or a relative, in whom the child has trust or confidence, to be present.
Is consent a parameter here?
No. By POCSO's definition, anyone under 18 is a child. The law presumes that all sexual activity with children under the age of 18 is a sexual offence. Therefore, two adolescent who engages in a consensual sexual act will also be punished under this law.