The incidents of exploitation dealing with child sexual abuse cases are increasing at an alarming rate nowadays. Though various laws have been passed in black and white, their implementation in the real world is creating a heavy burden on the shoulders of the Indian Government to mitigate the heinous issues of child sexual abuse on a larger scale. A ray of hope came in 2012 when the Indian Parliament introduced the POCSO (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act to protect the harassment of children against offences like sexual abuse, lustful behavior, indulgence in erotic activities, and many more. The act is gender-neutral legislation that considers a child as someone who has not attained the age of 18 years.

This act takes different types of sexual conduct and amusement acts into consideration that can be turned into an assault if a child is being abused under coercion by a person in a position of trust or authority including public officials, police authorities, or other personnel. Special courts and prosecutors are assigned to handle such cases by providing special protection and care to the child victims. A female officer is made to record the statements in cases of girl child abuse. The POCSO Act is an encapsulation of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc) 1973, Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, and Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

Thus, the act contains everything from recording the statement of a child and medical examination to the assignment of special friendly courts. All these measures lead to the prevention of re-traumatization and the ensuing child-friendly criminal justice system. In this article, the readers will get acquainted with the guidelines and punishment provisions to be followed under the POCSO Act, 2012. Some of the landmark judgments are also discussed to get a concise view of the working of the aforementioned gender-neutral statute. In addition to this, the article also puts a question mark on the Indian Judicial System by portraying the recent case laws related to the quashing of the POCSO Act, 2012 followed by a conclusion and recommendations.


  1. POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted when the cases of sexual abuse against children were rising. It contains provisions regarding the protection of children from sexual assault and pornography and lays down the procedure for the implementation of these laws. 
  2. Incidents of sexual abuse against children occur at schools, religious places, parks, hostels, etc and the security of children is not guaranteed anywhere. With such emerging dangers, it was significant to introduce separate legislation which could provide a reliable system for mitigating the number of such offences and punishing the perpetrators. 
  3. The Act has been instrumental in providing a robust justice mechanism for the victims of sexual abuse and has highlighted the significance of child rights and safety. The reporting of cases of child sexual abuse has also surged as a consequence of awareness. The Act covers punishment for both non-penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault. 

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav D/8639/2019

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