New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed a bill to protect children from sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and to establish special courts for the speedy trial of such offences. The house passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2011 by a voice vote. The bill provides for stringent punishment, including life sentence, for sexual assaults on minors.
It has provisions to safeguard the interest and wellbeing of the child at every stage of the judicial process by incorporating child-friendly procedures for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial. Women and child development minister Krishna Tirath said the legislation had been necessitated due increase in the incidents of child abuse.
The bill said that whoever used a child for pornographic purposes shall be liable for rigorous imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine.