The cases of child abuse have gain prominence in recent times. Sexual abuse of children is a very real problem in India, and the situation is aided by the absence of effective legislation and the silence that surrounds the offense.
To curb this menace, recently Central Government has approved a specifically designed Bill to deal with sexual offenses against children. Till now, all such cases were being tried under sections 375 and 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The bill envisages a jail term up to seven years and a fine of Rs. 50,000 for such crimes.
For the first time, the draft Bill distinguishes a sexual offense committed against children by persons in position of trust and authority over children, including a police officer, a remand home warden, hospital staff and school authorities.
The proposed Bill aims at protecting children against offenses of sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography and provide for establishment of special courts for trial of such offenses. Sexual assault also includes fondling the child in an inappropriate way which will invite a penalty of minimum three years in jail.
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