Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
5. To put an end to child sexual abuse, the scope of the POCSO act must be enhanced not narrowed. Critically comment in the light of recent judicial rulings on POCSO. (250 words)
Difficulty level: Moderate
Reference: The Hindu
Why the question:
The recent Allahabad High Court verdict that a penetrative sexual assault on a 10-year-old boy by an offender did not amount to an aggravated form of the crime appears to be per incuriam, that is, a ruling handed down without due regard to the law and facts.
Key Demand of the question:
To write about the impact of recent rulings of various higher courts on POCSO act and the need to enhance the scope of the act.
Critically comment – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘comment’ is prefixed, we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of POSCO act and its features in brief.
Firstly, mention the various issues with the act in the light of recent rulings – aggravated assault, skin to skin contact etc.
Next, mention other issues with the act – hurdles to historical abuse, lack of sensitivity, delayed reporting and lack of evidence to advance prosecution.
Next, write about the need to expand the scope of the act to end child abuse.
Conclude by writing a way forward.