March 3, 2011



Up to 5 yrs' jail proposed for sexual assault

NEW DELHI: The proposed Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill 2011 is likely to come up before the Cabinet on Thursday.

The bill — piloted by the women and child development ministry — while proposing stiffer punishment for offenders, also advocates punishing those making false complaints, except if the complainant is a child less than 16 years old.

The bill gains significance on the back of National Crime Records Bureau data that shows an increase in sexual offences against children. A ministry study in 2007 on child abuse found 53% reported one or more forms of sexual abuse. And 50% of the abusers were known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility.

As per the new bill, whoever commits sexual assault can be punished with imprisonment of three years extendable up to five years and a fine. Punishment for penetrative sexual assault (where the perpetrator is a guardian, public servant or security personnel) has been proposed at 10 years, which could be extended to life term and a fine.

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