- About Us
- Child Rights
- Our Work
- Contact Us
Kelly Kislaya,TNN | Apr 18, 2013, 06.57 AM IST
RANCHI: Be it a case of a stepfather making an abortive bid to rape his 13-year-old daughter or a 16-year-old girl setting herself afire because of continuous harassment by her neighbour – several cases of sexual offences against children came to light in the past few months. But none of the cases have, however, been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
District coordinator of Jharkhand State Child Protection Society of the social welfare department Shesh Nath Vernwal said, "The offences under the Act are divided in two parts – offences and aggravated offences. Offence means an act of sexual abuse, harassment or rape done by any person. Aggravated offence means any offence conducted by a person that the child trusts, like family members."
He added the punishment for offence was same under the Indian Penal Code but that of aggravated offence was more. For example, punishment for rape is seven years' in jail but punishment for rape by a family member is imprisonment ranging from 10 years to life time under the Act.
The Act came into existence on November 14, 2012.
Inspector general of CID Anurag Gupta said cases were not being registered under the Act since police were not aware of the provisions of the law. "To my knowledge not a single FIR has been lodged under the Act. The Act is new and police still do not know about it so even if cases related to sexual violence against a child is coming to police stations, they are being registered under various sections of the IPC. We are taking steps to educate our personnel about the Act."
He added the copies of the Act were sent to all SPs and they were asked to circulate them among the officers in charge of all police stations under their jurisdiction. "We can hope that in the next few months, the Act will be implemented properly."
Another major reason for the cases not being registered under the Act is that many cases go unreported. Dr P K Barnaval, a psychologist at Apollo Hospital, said, "I deal with children who have suffered sexual abuse. In 60-70% cases, sexual abuse of child is done by the person whom the child trusts, usually family members. As a result, most of the cases are suppressed to avoid bad name to the family."
He said only 5% cases reached the police stations and of them many were withdrawn later because the parents fear that filing an FIR would not just bring a bad name to the family but also disturb the child emotionally.