The Union Cabinet has given its nod to amend certain sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 to include provision of death penalty in cases of sexual offences against children.

“The modification is made to address the need for stringent measures required to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country on one hand and to address the menace of relatively new kind of crimes on the other hand,” Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information & Broadcasting, told media persons.

“Sections four, five and six are proposed to be amended to provide option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for committing sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child to protect the children from sexual abuse,” according to an official statement.

Amendments are also proposed in Section 9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and in other situations where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault. Amendments are also proposed in Section 14 and 15 of the POCSO Act to levy fine for not destroying, deleting or reporting the pornographic material involving a child with an intention to share or transmit it.

Amendment is proposed to be carried out in Section 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 14, 15, 34, 42 and 45.