NEW DELHI, Aug 1 - A bill seeking to provide death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children and greater punishments for other crimes against minors was approved by Parliament, after it was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Piloting the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said it aims at making offences against children gender neutral.
The Bill, which was already passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 29, defines child pornography, making it punishable.
Cutting across party lines, members supported amendments to POCSO Act though some demanded that Bill be referred to the standing committee or select committee as it makes certain offences punishable with death. Seeking passage of the bill in Lok Sabha, Irani said this bill is not related to vote bank politics but to save the future of India.
In an apparent reference to Congress MP Ramya Haridas who raised the Unnao rape issue in the House, Irani said this bill should not be looked from the perspective of politics and should not be politicised for personal benefits.
Responding to Haridas, Irani said it was very unfortunate that when she was speaking some members who were supporting her were actually having fun. She further said the courts of this country have even power to punish MLAs and MPs. The Bill, said Irani, would provide added legal protection to 39 per cent of population or 43 crore children, irrespective of whether they are a girl or boy. � PTI