An 18-year-old woman from Kerala has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act or POCSO, based on the complaint of a 16-year-old.
The police complaint by the family of the 16-year-old says that the girl confided in them, and accused the 18-year-old woman of putting pressure on her to have sex on multiple occasions.
The woman, a native of Taliparamba in Kannur district of Kerala, has been booked by the Taliparamba police.
POCSO is one of the strictest criminal provisions in India, and prescribes the death penalty in case of “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” on anyone less than 18 years of age.
In case it is not considered an ‘aggravated assault’, the punishment is restricted to imprisonment.
The Act also covers actions such as display of pornographic material to children and the administration of growth hormones. It also has strict provisions against the possession of pornographic material depicting minors.
It is also one of the few ‘gender neutral’ legislation dealing with the subject of sexual exploitation and assault.
The Act uses the recently updated definition of rape and sexual harassment.
The definition of rape and sexual assault was expanded, in the context of the Nirbhaya case, to include the insertion of any part of the body “into the vagina, the urethra or anus of another person or makes the person to do so with him or any other person” or the manipulation of “any part of the body of another person so as to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of body of such person or makes the person to do so with him or any other person.”
It also includes the application of one’s “mouth to the penis, vagina, anus, urethra of another person” and also touching “the vagina, penis, anus or breast” of another person.
As a result, under the new laws, a woman too can be accused of rape if she inserts any of her body parts into any orifice of another person, including that of a man.