Criminal Law

Law Against Child Abuse

Child abuse is when a child below the age of 18 years is maltreated by anyone, which causes physical, emotional, sexual or psychological harm or injury to the child. Under Indian laws, there are many provisions made for the prevention of child abuse.

Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012: This Act was formed to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, pornography and immoral acts against children. This Act is not gender-specific and also penalises abetment of child abuse.

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 315 and 316 of IPC deal with the death of an unborn child or an infant. The accused that does any act to prevent an unborn child to be born alive in this case shall be punished with imprisonment up to ten years or fine or both.

Section 317 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the abandonment of a child below the age of twelve years. If the father or mother abandons their child intentionally, then they shall be punished with imprisonment up to seven years or fine or both.

Section 366A of IPC deals with inducing any minor girl to have sexual intercourse with another person. This crime shall be punished with imprisonment up to ten years and a fine.

Section 372 and 373 of the Indian Penal Code punishes the accused of selling or buying minor girls for prostitution and illicit intercourse for any unlawful and immoral purpose. The accused shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend up to ten years and a fine.

Also, after the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, the punishment for rape of a minor girl has been aggravated (made more serious) under section 376(2)(i) of IPC. The punishment for rape of females below 16 years of age shall be minimum rigorous imprisonment of ten years which can extend up to life imprisonment.

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