Child Related Laws
The Protection Of Child from Sexual Offences Act defines offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography, and safeguarding the interest and well-being of children.
Any person below the age of 18 years.
- Any act using a child for the sexual gratification of/by the more powerful person.
- Acts of abuse may or may not include touch.
- Child sexual abuse takes place in the context of a relationship where responsibility, trust, or power are abused by the perpetrators.
Penetrative sexual assault
- Penetrates penis, insert any object into the vagina, mouth, urethra, or anus of a child.
- Manipulates a child to cause penetration or applies his mouth into any part of the body of a child.
- Applies his mouth to the penis, vagina, anus, urethra of a child
Punishment- 7 years to life imprisonment
Aggravated penetrative sexual assault includes penetrative sexual assault by-
- Police officer, Members of armed forces or security forces, Public Servant, Management or staff of the hospital, of jail, Gang penetrative sexual assault, sexual assault on a child using deadly weapons, fire, heated substance or corrosive substance, Assault on a child below 12 yrs, Offence by a Relative, etc.
Punishment - Ten years to life imprisonment
- Touching the vagina, penis, anus or breast of the child and makes the child to touch or does any other act with sexual intent which involves physical contact without penetration.
Punishment - Three to five years
Aggravated sexual assault
Punishment - Five to seven years
When a person with sexual intent:-
- Uses wrong words or gestures towards the child
- Exhibits his part of body
- Shows Pornography
- Stalks the child
- Threatens the child to involve in sexual acts
- Forces a child for pornography
Punishment- Three years and fine
Use of children for pornographic purposes means
Using a child in any form of media for the purpose of sexual pleasure or desire, which includes Representation of the sexual organs of a child.
- Using for the engagement in a sexual act.
- Obscene representation of a child.
Punishment - Minimum- 5 years and Maximum Life imprisonment and fine.
Abetment of an offence and attempt to commit any of the abovementioned offences is also made punishable.
Information can be made to the local police or the Special Juvenile Police Unit.
It shall be conducted within 24 hours in the presence of the parents of the child. If the victim is a girl, the medical examination shall be conducted by a woman doctor.
Any person making false complaint is also punished.
Offences against new born and unborn
Whoever causes the woman with child and the woman quick with the child to miscarry shall be punished. When the woman consents to the causing of a miscarriage of her foetus she is liable for committing of such offence.
- Woman with child: Imprisonment for 3 years and fine and both.
- Woman quick with child: Imprisonment for 7 years and fine.
(Quick unborn child- The motion of foetus, when felt by the mother, is quickening, and the mother is said to be quick with child.)
Miscarriage committed without woman’s consent.
Imprisonment for life, or up to 10 years and fine.
When act done to cause miscarriage of a woman results in the death of such woman.
With consent- Imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine.
Without women’s consent- Imprisonment for life or for 10 years and fine
Any act done with the intention of preventing the child from being born alive or causing it to die after birth.
Imprisonment for 10 years or fine or both
Any act done, if caused death would be guilty of culpable homicide, and such act caused the death of quick unborn child.
Imprisonment for 10 years and fine
When parent or any person having care of the child leave such child with the intention of wholly abandoning such child.
Imprisonment of 7 years or fine or both
When a miscarriage is caused in good faith to save the woman’s life.
In cases like rape uninvited pregnancy which badly affects the mental & physical health of women or will lead to abnormalities to the fetus or women in such cases termination of pregnancy won’t be punishable.
A registered medical practitioner (RMP) who has training and experience as per the rules of MTP can terminate the pregnancy.
For terminations up to 12 weeks - the opinion of a single RMP is required.
For terminations between 12 and 20 weeks- the opinion of two RMP.
Maternity Benefit, Surrogacy etc
Maternity benefits are available to working women for a certain period of time before and after the child-birth.
Pregnant women/adopting mother/surrogate (Commissioning) mother are eligible for maternity benefit.
- 1st & 2nd child- 26 weeks (8 weeks before delivery and remaining after delivery).
- 3rd & more child- 12 weeks (6 weeks before delivery and 6 weeks after delivery)
- Adopting mother/ surrogate (Commissioning) mother – 12 weeks.
Pregnant women cannot be dismissed or demoted during maternity leave (except proven misconduct).
Creche facility must be provided if more than 50 members are working.
- Surrogacy is a method of bearing a child for another person/ couple.
- Surrogate mother: The woman caring the surrogate child in her womb.
- Commissioning parents: The parents who want Surrogate child.
- Donor: 3rd party donates egg/sperm.
- If married, spouse consent is a must.
- The Surrogacy Bill, 2019 is pending before Parliament, so as of now there is no specific law on Surrogacy in India.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 allows abortion on/before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Both married and unmarried woman undergo abortion on restricted grounds.
- Conceived woman and Legal guardian, if minor.
- Up to 12 weeks – One Registered Medical Practitioner.
- 12 – 20 weeks – Two Registered Medical Practitioner
- Imprisonment for 2 – 7 years.
The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 prohibits and penalises any marriage between male (less than 21 years of age) and female (less than18 years of age).
- Cognizable and Non-Bailable.
- Imprisonment up to 2 years + fine 1 lakh rupees.
- A, aged 22 married B, aged 17. A and B parents accepted the marriage and C solemnised the marriage.
- A, C and Parents of A and B have committed the offence.