Child pornography in India

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Child pornography is any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which includes photographs, video, digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual child and an image created but appears to depict a child. Sexual abuse against the child is a very common problem because they seem to be an easy target both physically and mentally.

The increase in resources and information has rendered child pornography inexpensive and made it easier to spread and produce. The porn industry has been highly lucrative these days and is spreading across the globe in an exceedingly coordinated manner. The Internet has created a new world of information and communications. It has also had an immeasurable impact on the exploitation of children. The lives of the child victims of child pornography are forever altered, not only by molestation but by the permanent records of the exploitation, images distributed online are irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever, re-victimizing the child again and again. Often times the victims are abused by someone they know, these children should have been able to trust. These offenders have close access to the children they are abusing.

There are different laws in India to secure and advance the offspring of the nation. In the constitution itself, Article 21 accommodates the privilege to life and freedom, Article 24 does not permit children beneath 14 years to work in mines, plant, or take part in dangerous business. Article 39(f) make it required for the state to coordinate its approach towards making sure about the wellbeing and quality of children and to give those openings and offices to grow steadily and  Article 45 gives that the state will attempt to give youth care and training to children beneath the age of 6 years. There likewise exist laws for violations against the children, for example, The immoral traffic act,1986, The child marriage restraint act, The child labor act 1986, and The juvenile justice Act,2000.

The Indian penal code,1860, and the criminal procedure code, 1973 governs the substantive and procedural parts of criminal offenses, including those which apply to children. since no special provisions are governing the abuse of children, the same laws apply to the adults and the children of the country.

The laws governing sexual offenses including  Section 293 of the IPC specifically criminalizes the sale, distribution, exhibition, circulation, etc of any obscene material to any person below the age of twenty years. Section 375 deals with Rape,  Section 377 deals with unnatural offenses, and Section 354 outraging the modesty of women under the Indian penal code. There are offences against minor girls section 366-A inducement or force or seduce to illicit intercourse, section 372 selling girls for prostitution, and section 373 buying girls for prostitution. However, these laws are not adequate to handle such heinous offences against children.

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Lack of adequate laws was also mentioned in various cases before the supreme court of India in Bachpan Bachao Andolan v.Union of India the petitioners came in contact with many children who are forcefully detained in circuses and children face various kinds of abuses and violations. Petitioner wanted the inter-state trafficking of children, their bondage and forcible confinement, and abuses made cognizable under the Indian penal code. The supreme court of India also made a referral to the law commission of India on matters of child sexual abuse. However, the law commission of India did not suggest any changes to the act. The justification given by the law commission was the gravity of these various offences was different.

Protection of children from sexual offences Act,2012

 The protection of children from sexual offences act, 2012 came into force with effect from 14 November 2012 along with the rules framed there. The act seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography. All sexual abuse is defined under this act. This act was the gender-neutral act and The act also defines that every person under 18 years of age will be considered a child. The POCSO Act was amended To make it more effective in dealing with cases of child sex abuse in the country. It addressed the need for stringent measures to deter the rising trends of child abuse in the country. The following amendments were brought under POCSO Act,2012 through the POCSO(amendment) Act,2019

Under Section 3 a person commits penetrative sexual assaults

  • If he penetrate his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a child.
  • Makes a child to do the same
  • Inserts any object into the child’s body
  • Applies his mouth to a child’s body parts

In the state of Maharashtra v. Dattatraya

The accused was the neighbor of the victim, aged five years and he had taken the victim to the house and forcibly and had vaginal and anal sex, caused her cranial injuries, and smothered her as a result she died. The accused was found guilty under the protection of children from sexual offences Act 2012 and was awarded capital punishment

Section 4 deals with punishments for such offenses as imprisonment between seven years to life and a fine. The bill increases the minimum punishment from seven years to ten years and if a person commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below the age of 16 years, he will be punishable with imprisonment between 20 years to life with a fine.

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In the case of state v. Mohan

Mohan had attempted to commit rape upon a minor girl child aged about 11 years and the supreme court emphasized the fact that even if the act of the convict is prima facie not grave but has had irreversible consequences on the mental health of the minor girl child so the accused was convicted under the act and was punished under section  protection of children from sexual offences Act,2012

Section 5 Aggravated penetrative sexual assaults include cases when a police officer or a public servant commits penetrative sexual assault on a child and also case where the offender is a relative of the child. The punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault is imprisonment between 10 years to life, and a fine. It increases the minimum punishment from ten years to twenty years, and the maximum punishment to the death penalty.

Under section 13, a person is guilty of using a child for pornographic purposes if he uses a child in any form of media.  Section 14 penalises persons who use children for pornographic purposes resulting in sexual assault.

Storage of pornographic material :

Section 15  penalises the storage of pornographic material for commercial purposes with a punishment of up to three years, a fine, or both. In addition, there are two offences for storage of pornographic material involving children they are failing to destroy, or delete or report pornographic material involving a child and transmitting, displaying, distributing such material except to report.

Additionally, section 67B of the IT Act makes it punishable for anyone to publish or transmit material depicting children in sexually explicit acts in electronic form. So within this provision, creating text or digital images or collecting, browsing, downloading, advertisement, promoting, exchanging, or distributing any material that depicts children in an obscene or indecent or sexually explicit manner is also prohibited.

 Crime against children is one of the serious problems that India is facing presently even after the stringent penalties the offences related to children are not stopping. parents and caregivers are encouraged to educate themselves about the internet and social media, to be aware of the current online dangers facing by children then only the actual change and finishing of this problem from its roots level can be made.


The protection of children from sexual offences act,2012

Sexual offences Act 2003

The Indian penal code 1860


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