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Cabinet approves amendment in POCSO Act, death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on minors

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New Delhi, Dec 28: Narendra Modi Cabinet laid down amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act by approving death penalty for aggravated sexual offences against children below the age of 18 years.

Cabinet approves amendment in POCSO Act, death penalty for aggravated sexual assault to minors (Representative image)

The announcement was made by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The decisive decision comes in the wake of innumerable crimes against children, which later triggered resistance in the country.

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Addressing media persons after a Cabinet meeting, Prasad said the amendments to sections 4, 5, 6, 9, 14, 15 and 42 of the POCSO Act, 2012, are made to address child sexual abuse in an appropriate manner. An official statement said sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Act are proposed to be amended to provide the option of stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault on a child. It said these amendments are aimed at discouraging the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent.

Earlier this year, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi had proposed the amendments in the aftermath of the horrific Kathua gangrape and murder case which had sparked countrywide outrage.

(With PTI inputs)

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