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In Smriti Irani’s POCSO overhaul, sex animes with minors now child porn

Child pornography, as per the new amendments, includes any visual depiction of sexually explicit content that involves a child. The visual depiction includes photos, videos, digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual child.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2019 22:47 IST
Amrita Madhukalya
Amrita Madhukalya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
POCSO overhaul,child sex abuse,POCSO Bill
Cartoons and animes depicting child porn too have been brought into the ambit under the new changes. The Bill is set to be introduced in Parliament next week. (AFP/Getty Images.)

A new definition of child pornography, with penal provisions for even computer-generated imagery involving child sex abuse and imagery where an adult actor is pretending to be a child, are part of the new amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2012, which was cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Cartoons and animes depicting child porn too have been brought into the ambit under the new changes. The Bill is set to be introduced in Parliament next week.

Officials of the union ministry for women and child development said that the new amendments will include a definition of child pornography which was not part of the POCSO Bill introduced in the Parliament in January this year.

Child pornography, as per the new amendments, includes any visual depiction of sexually explicit content that involves a child. The visual depiction includes photos, videos, digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual child. This depiction includes any image which is created, adapted or modified but appears to depict a child.

The new amendments also make it punishable for the storing of sexually explicit material involving a child. If a person stores the material in any form but fails to delete, destroy, or report it to designated authorities, then he or she will be filed with Rs 5,000 in the first instance and Rs 10,000 in the second. There is no maximum limit in the penal provisions.

Additionally, any person who stores and possesses such material for transmitting, propagating, distributing it in any manner except when he wants to use it as evidence in court shall be punished with imprisonment which may extended to three years with fine or both.

“It is the WCD Minister’s initiative that from now there will be zero tolerance for child pornography and for that reason definition of child pornography was essential as definition leads to setting the context of the crime. Only prescribing punishment leads to possibility that the case may get entangled in inconclusive legal battles,” said a statement from the ministry.

Officials said that the WCD is intensifying efforts to bring down cases of child pornography. Recently, in Kerala a person was arrested for allegedly running a child porn chat group and an online porn channel. In Delhi, the CBI arrested one of the five suspected administrators of a WhatsApp group for allegedly circulating pornographic videos and photos of children. The group consisted of 119 members from 40 countries.

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 22:43 IST