The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was originally passed in 2012, but amendments have been done soon after. Said Act is enacted to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and provide for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
We can see there is growing concern among people regarding the threat of pornography and other cybercrimes, as sexual offences against children, including rape, sodomy, incest and exposure to pornography are on the rise. Most of these offences involve mental and psychological abuse that ultimately results in trauma to the victim, who may be scarred for life.
This law focuses on the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation. However, it criminalizes not only the production, distribution, importation, or exportation of any explicit material (actual or virtual) that involves a child or person who is depicted as being under eighteen years, but also the possession of such materials.
What is Pornographic Material?
Pornographic material can be seen in various formats such as Video, Photos even audio format.
Punishment for storage of pornographic material involving a child -
According to Section 15 -
(1) of the said Act, Any person, who stores or possesses pornographic material in any form involving a child, but fails to delete or destroy or report the same to the designated authority, as may be prescribed, with an intention to share or transmit child pornography, shall be liable to fine not less than five thousand rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent offense, with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees.
(2) Any person, who stores or possesses pornographic material in any form involving a child for transmitting or propagating or displaying or distributing in any manner at any time except for the purpose of reporting, as may be prescribed, or for use as evidence in court, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
(3) Any person, who stores or possesses pornographic material in any form involving a child for the commercial purpose shall be punished on the first conviction with imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than three years which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both and in the event of second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than five years which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
The Parliament of India made amendments to the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Rules of Court, in order to implement the intent behind child sex abuse prevention.
If one views or downloads child pornography from the internet, then one is likely to be charged. The offenders will be liable for a prison term of up to two years.