news Friday, December 12, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 28, 2014 | 10.00 am IST A 55-year-old Chennai man has earned the dubious distinction to become the first man to get convicted under the POCSO Act. On Thursday, the Mahila Court of Chennai convicted P Karuppaih for molesting a 10-year-old mentally challenged girl. This is the first conviction under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, The Hindu reported. The man was awarded five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rupees five thousand. The girl and her parents live in a hut on a pavement in Guindy. On May 20, the man entered the hut when the parents were outside and molested the ten-year-old girl. The locals caught hold of the man and handed him over to the police. “After the Act (POCSO) was introduced, parents are coming forward to lodge complaints,” said Gowri Ashokan, special public prosecutor. The POCSO Act was an outcome of the Ministry of Women and Child Development's efforts to bring in a new law to protect children from sexual abuse apart from "rape" and "outraging the modesty of a woman" as defined in the Indian Penal Code. The POCSO Act was, therefore, formulated in order to effectively address the heinous crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. Apart from making it mandatory that sexual offences be reported, it puts on the police a responsibility of acting as the affected child's protector during the investigative process.  
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