Possession of any form of child pornographic material for the purpose of viewing, storing, distribution or transmission and use for commercial purpose will now be going be charged with severe criminal charges which will serve a jail term extending up to five years along with a hefty fine. The act will be treated as a non-bailable offense, the accused of facing second conviction may be punished up to seven years of jail term. The amendment of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act will also include penalties for not mandatorily reporting child pornography and possession of any pictures and videos on WhatsApp. With the increasing cases of pornography involving children has been a concern of the nation today. The proposal of the amendment is awaited to be approved by the law ministry and the ministry of women and child development and is hoped to reach the Cabinet by next week. The amendments of the Act have been proposed in Section 15 of the POCSO Act. The proposal states, any person who “stores or possesses” any material of pornography involving a child “but fails to delete/ destroy or report” shall be punished with a fine not less than Rs 1,000. If the accused is convicted of a second or subsequent offense, the fine shall not be less than Rs 5,000. The amendments also propose that he “transmitting, propagating and distributing such material in any manner except for the purpose of reporting …and for use as evidence in court”. The person who stores any pornographic material “ for commercial use” will be faced with the most serious action. As of now the punishment under section 15 of the Act may extend to three years or fine or both. The new amendment will in later days punish the guilty not less than 3 years and which may extend up to 5 years. In case of a person subsequently charged will be five years and which could be extended to seven years.
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