Crimes against children in India
Crimes against children in India: Protective and Preventive laws with new concept of elimination of root cause of crimes
by Dr.C.P.Gupta & Rekha khandelwal Published in Indian Journal of Socio Legal Studies . ISSN 2320–8562. Impact Factor(IIJF):2.139
(Vol.- X. Issue- I. 2021 )
Abstract: –Looking at today’s scenario, the safety of children has become a burning problem. Increasing crime of children day by day is proving that the condition of children is very pathetic. NCRB data shows that crimes against children have been increasing at a rapid pace. Innocent children are falling victim to crimes such as murder, rape, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuses, child pornography, buying and selling etc. A number of laws have been enacted to prevent crime, many types of provisions have been given for the welfare of children in the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of Policy, many kinds of policies have also been made for the welfare of children in the country. Yet the crimes are increasing.
In my opinion, there is a need to go to the root of the reason of crimes and then to take measures accordingly. it is concluded that elimination of the root cause of crime is necessary to overcome the crimes and the criminal mens rea is the root cause of crime. A heart education program can be included with today’s education. if heart education is implemented by the government to develop moral values in every school, then essentially moral qualities can be developed and the root cause of crime can be eradicated only by developing moral qualities. That is why criminal status cannot be created because except in a few exceptions, criminal status and illegal act together constitute crime. If there is no criminal state of mind, then there will be no crime and in this way crimes against children can also be removed and the country can be protected by keeping children safe, thus implementing the heart education is only effective way to protect children and our country.
Key Words:- Crimes, children, root cause, heart education
It is said that today’s children are the future of tomorrow’s country. But can we today say that the future of our country is secure? When the children themselves will not be safe, how will the future of the country be secure? Looking at today’s scenario, the safety of children has become a burning problem. Increasing crime of children day by day is proving that the condition of children is very pathetic. “As many as 109 children were sexually abused every day in India in 2018, according to the data by the National Crime Record Bureau, which showed a 22 per cent jump in such cases from the previous year. According to the recently released NCRB data, 32,608 cases were reported in 2017 while 39,827 cases were reported in 2018 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).POCSO Act, 2012 is a comprehensive law to provide for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. It requires special treatment of cases relating to child sexual abuse such as setting-up of special courts, special prosecutors, and support persons for child victims. As many as 21,605 child rapes were recorded in 2018 which included 21,401 rapes of girls and 204 of boys, the data showed. Overall crimes against children has increased steeply over six times in the decade over 2008-2018, from 22,500 cases recorded in 2008 to 1,41,764 cases in 2018, according to the NCRB data from 2008 and 2018.In 2017, 1, 29,032 cases of crime against children were recorded.
In percentage terms, major crime against children during 2018 were kidnapping and abduction which accounted for 44.2 per cent followed by cases under POCSO, which accounted for 34.7 per cent, the data showed. A total of 67,134 children (19,784 male, 47,191 female and 159 transgender) were reported missing in 2018. During the year 2018, a total of 71,176 children (22,239 male, 48,787 female and 150 transgender) were traced, the NCRB data showed. As many as 781 cases of use of child for pornography or storing child pornography material was also recorded in 2018, more than double that of 2017 when 331 such cases were recorded, the data showed. The report also showed that cases of sexual harassment in shelter homes against women and children reportedly increased by 30 per cent, from 544 cases recorded in 2017 to 707 cases in 2018.As many as 501 incidences were also recorded under The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, a 26 per cent jump from 2017 when 395 cases were reported under the Act.” NCRB data shows that crimes against children have been increasing at a rapid pace. Innocent children are falling victim to crimes such as murder, rape, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuses, child pornography, buying and selling etc. News of the rape of the girl child is published almost daily in the newspaper. Girl child becomes a victim of crimes not only outside the house but also inside the house by her own relatives, which is a shameful thing for the country. The graph of gender-related crimes is increasing with small innocent children.
After all, what is the reason for all this? Today there is a need to analyse while the different types of protective and preventive laws related to prevention of crimes existing in the country. A number of laws have been enacted to prevent crime such as IPC, CrPC, Evidence Act, The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, Domestic Violence Act, etc. In the Indian constitution, many types of provisions have been given for the welfare of children in the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of Policy, many kinds of policies have also been made for the welfare of children in the country, and many big ones at national level and international level Institutions are working for the welfare of children. Provision for welfare of children has also been kept for them considering the children as vulnerable section in human rights. Yet the crimes are increasing. Question arises, is all useless, not enough, not being applied properly or something else.
In my opinion, there is a need to go to the root of the reason of crimes and then to take measures accordingly. Today this problem has to be taken seriously, and then only we will be able to keep our country safe. If we analyse crime, crime = actus reus + mens rea. Actus reus is the physical element of the crime whereas mens ria is the mental element of the crime and generally no act is considered a crime unless it is motivated by a criminal state of mind or a mens rea. A well-known maxim of criminal law is that ‘Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea’ the act does not make a person guilty unless the person’s mind is also guilty. The above formula is a principle of natural justice and common law. In the Indian Penal Code, the word mens rea is not used, but instead of mens rea, words referring to rashes are used, such as intentionally, Knowingly, fraudulently, meaninglessly, maliciously, and neglectfully etc.
To eliminate the root cause of crime is to eliminate the criminal mind state that motivates one to act. In order for a person to not have a criminal state of mind, it is necessary that his moral qualities are developed at the highest level. The development of moral qualities in a person is possible only through education, because education is the medium through which the whole personality can be developed. If a person’s moral qualities are developed then criminal state of mind will not arise. A person firstly thinks and then converts it into work. Similarly, a criminal also firstly thinks and then converts his thought into work and thereby does crime. If his thinking is always good, then he will not become criminal.
But whether today’s education is capable of developing moral qualities, it needs to be analysed that today’s education is having a negative effect or positive effect on the society. But the data of increasing crimes against children are showing that the education that children are being given in school today is proving to be unable to develop moral qualities like sarvodaya, truth, nonviolence, love, satisfaction, tolerance, kindness, spirituality, etc. It has failed to teach the value of life. Today’s education is creating competition, stress, greed, emotional imbalanced and jealousy in children and making them away from nature. When these children grow up, moral qualities are not developed in them, due to which immoral tendencies dominate and due to these immoral qualities they get a criminal state of mind, inspired by this, they also commit abominable crime. Children’s Intelligence quotient only gets developed but spritiual quotient, happiness quotient and emotional quotient doesn’t develop. If children are not given such an education from which their S.Q, H.Q, and E.Q. may get developed, Moral Qualities cannot be developed completely in childrens. All the evils can be removed, by making them one by thinking, bringing purity and maturity in their thinking. If there is a education from the beginning that provides the same thought or similar experience. What steps should it take to now? So, there is a need of such an education from beginning which may help children in developing inner peace, patience, happiness, positive thinking, inner strength and similar other moral qualities sarvodaya, truth, nonviolence, love, satisfaction, tolerance, kindness, spirituality, etc so that they may be able to stand firmly in all adverse situations in life. Heartfulness education technique is a program that deals with improvement in children and teacher in this regard.
- To make the country safe by striving to protect the children of the country.
- To eliminate increasing crimes against children in the country.
- Do not let the criminal state of mind arise by developing moral quality in every person.
- To Establish Heart Education compulsorily as a part of today’s education system to develop Moral Quality.
Provisions for Welfare of children under the constitution
“The Constitution is a document having a special legal sanctity which sets out the framework and the principle functions of the organs of the Government within the State and declares the principles by which those organs must operate. The Constitution refers to the whole system of the governance of a country and the collection of rules which establish and regulate or govern the Government. In our country, we have a written Constitution, which has been given by the people of India to themselves.”
- The Fundamental Rights and Children
Fundamental rights are rights protected and guaranteed by the country’s written constitution. The authors of the Constitution added the various provisions contained in Part Three in the form of fundamental rights to protect the interests and well-being of children and reflect their concerns.
- “Special Provisions for Women and Children [Article 15(3)] Article 15 of the Constitution provides for prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. But Article 15(3) provides that State can make special provisions for women and children.”
- “Right to Life and Personal Liberty (Article 21) Article 21 of the Constitution provides Protection of life and personal liberty—No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
Supreme Court has given wider interpretation to Article 21 of the Constitution. “The Supreme Court held that the “procedure established by law” has interpreted to mean “due process of law.” In this case Article 21 was interpreted in the context of problem of child labour. The Supreme Court considers that the reduction of child labor poverty is a major cause. Children are deprived of the right to a meaningful life, leisure, food, shelter, medical care and education. Any child can enjoy health, well-being, education and social security. There will be no difference on the basis of race, birth, sex, ethnicity, language, religion, social origin, wealth or birth.”
- “Right to Free and Compulsory Education (Article 21A) Article 21A of the Constitution provides free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years as a fundamental right.”
- “Prohibition of Traffic in Human Beings and Forced Labour (Article 23) Article 23 of the Constitution provides for prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.”
“This Article embodies two declarations. First, that traffic in human beings, ‘begar’ and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited. The prohibition applies not only to the State but also to private persons, bodies and organizations. Second, any contravention of the prohibition shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. Under Article 35 of the Constitution, laws punishing acts prohibited by this Article shall only be made by the Parliament, though existing laws on the subject, until altered or repealed by Parliament, are saved.” 
- “Prohibition of Employment of Children in Factories, Mines etc. (Article 24) Article 24 of the Constitution provides for prohibition of employment of children in factories, mines etc. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.”
- The Directive Principles of the State Policy and Children
‘Importance of Directive Principles of State Policy in the context of child rights was considered at length in Bandhua Mukti Morcha’s case, wherein the Supreme Court observed: Today’s children will not be able to develop into responsible and productive members of society tomorrow unless an environment conducive to their social and physical health is guaranteed. Every developed or developing country associates its future with the pride of children. Childhood has potential and also determines the limits of the future development of society. Children are humanity’s greatest gift. People have their advantages. Parents live for them. They embody joy and innocence in their life, thus reducing fatigue and stress in their daily life. Parents find peace and happiness with their children. Children express their eternal hope for humanity and always provide the possibility of human development. If children are better suited to a wider range of human resources, the society will feel happy with them. Neglecting the children means loss to the society as a whole. If children are deprived of their childhood—socially, economically, physically and mentally—the nation gets deprived of the potential human resources for social progress, economic empowerment and peace and order, the social stability and the good citizenry.’
- Protection to Children against Exploitation [Articles 39 (e) & (f)]
“Article 39 of the Constitution provides for certain principles of policy to be followed by the State. Article 39 (e) of the Constitution enjoins that the State shall direct its policy that tender age of children is not abused.”
Similarly, “Article 39 (f) —The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.”
- “Right to Work, to Education and to Public Assistance in Certain Cases (Article 41)—The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, in other cases of undeserved want.”
- “Just and Humane Conditions of Work and Maternity Relief (Article 42) Provisions for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. —The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.”
- “Early Childhood Care and Education to Children below the Age of Six Years (Article 45) Provision for free and compulsory education for children.—The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.”
- “Promotion of Educational and Economic Interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Weaker Sections (Article 46).—The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.”
- “Duty of the State to Raise the Level of Nutrition and the Standard of Living and to Improve Public Health (Article 47) The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.”
- Fundamental Duties and Children
- “Art. 51A (k). It shall be duty of every citizen of India who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.”
- “Educational Rights of Children Belonging to Linguistic Minorities (Article 350A) It shall be endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such direction to any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision for such facilities.”
Schedules of the Constitution and Provisions Relating to Children
- Seventh Schedule of the Constitution
“All the items enumerated in these three Union, State and Concurrent Lists are contained in Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. By virtue of the power given to the Union or the States to make legislation under these three Lists, various laws or some beneficial provisions in those laws have been enacted by the Union and the State Legislatures for the welfare and protection of children.”
- “List I: Union List
- Regulation of labour and safety in mines and oilfields.
- Sanctioning of cinematograph films for exhibition.”
- “List II: State List
Prisons, reformatories, borstal institutions and other institutions of a like nature and persons detained therein; arrangements with other States for the use of prisons and other institutions.
- Public health and sanitation; hospitals and dispensaries.
- Theatres and dramatic performances; cinemas subject to the provisions of Entry 60 of List I; sports, entertainments and amusements.”
- “List III: Concurrent List
- Marriage and divorce; infants and minors; adoptions; wills, intestacy and succession; joint family and partition; all matters in respect of which parties in judicial proceedings were immediately before the commencement of the Constitution subject to their personal law.
- Lunacy and mental deficiency, including places for the reception or treatment of lunatics and mental deficient.
- Population control and family planning.
- Welfare of labour including conditions of work, provident funds, employer’s liability, workmen’s compensation, invalidity and old age pensions and maternity benefits.
- Education, including technical education, medical education and universities subject to the provisions of Entries 63, 64, 65, and 66 of List I; vocational and technical training of labour.
- Vital Statistics including registration of birth and deaths.
- Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution
The matters which are important from children’s welfare point of view are as follows:
- “Education, including primary and secondary education.
- Technical training and vocational education.
- Health and sanitation, including hospitals, primary health centres and dispensaries.
- Family welfare.
- Women and child development.
- Social welfare, including welfare of the handicapped and mentally retarded.
- Welfare of the weaker sections, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.”
- Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution
The matters which are important from children’s welfare point of view are as follows:
- “Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management.
- Safeguarding the interests of the weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and the mentally retarded.
- Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, playgrounds.
- Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects.
- Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths.”
Crimes against children which are punishable under the IPC
- “Murder (Section 302 IPC)
- .Rape (Section 376 IPC)
- Unnatural Offence (Section 377 IPC)
- Assault on Women (Girl Child) with Intent to Outrage her Modesty (section 354 IPC)
- Sexual Harassment (Section 354A IPC)
- Assault or Use of Criminal Force to Women (Girl Child) with Intent to Disrobes (Section 354B IPC)
- Voyeurism (Section 354C IPC)
- Stalking (Section 354D IPC)
- Insult to the Modesty of Women (Girl Child) (Section 509 IPC)
- Kidnapping & Abduction (Section 363, 364,364A, 365, 366, 367, 368 & 369 IPC).
- Foeticide (Section 315 and 316 IPC). (x) Abetment of Suicide of Child (Section 305 IPC)
- Exposure and Abandonment (section 317 IPC)
- Procuration of Minor Girls (section 366-A IPC)
- Importation of Girls from Foreign Country (Section 366-B IPC) (under 18 years of age)
- Buying of Minors for Prostitution (Section 373 IPC)
- Selling of Minors for Prostitution (Section 372 IPC)”
Special and Local Laws under which Crime against Children are punishable
- The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
- Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994*(for persons below 18 years of age
- Child labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986*
- Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956*
- Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000*
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
Today’s need to eliminate the root cause of crime
After analysing all the above data, the researcher has come to the conclusion that many types of preventive and protective laws have been introduced from time to time for the protection of children. Many kinds of policies have also been formulated in the country from time to time for the welfare of children, but the NCRB data shows that the crime rate against children is still increasing rapidly and all the above policies, preventive and protective law are proving to be unsuccessful in eliminating crimes against children. All these laws are not able to reduce the crimes of new ones; these laws are not having any effect on the criminals. They are showing that the offender does not even think of punishment while committing a crime or that he is not afraid of punishment. Their criminal instincts dominate them so much that they have no fear of law or punishment. It seems that the root cause of crime has to be eliminated to eliminate criminals. Efforts have to be made to eliminate criminal mens rea. The only solution to this is to develop moral values in the person. So that even the idea of committing a crime does not come. Their moral values always dominate their criminal tendencies. This can happen because every criminal is also a human. He also has a soul in his body which is a part of God. If an education is provided from the very beginning that one can develop the best moral qualities in the person, then when they grow up, they will be able to hear the voice of the soul due to its moral qualities, which always shows the right direction to live life, then criminal status of mind will not be arise. Crimes can be eliminated by eliminating the root cause of crime. Education is the only means to develop Moral values but education given to children today has a negative effect on the place of positive influence on children. Due to which when children grow up criminal tendencies prevail over them and they make abusive crimes even with children. Therefore, there is a need for education that can work in positive direction and develop moral values. Heart education is a program. If combined as a part of today’s education to develop moral qualities, can certainly develop the best moral qualities in persons.
About Heartfulness Education Trust (HET)
“Hurtfulness Education Trust (HET) was born from the vision that the most effective way to transform society in a generation is to provide teachers with the opportunity and tools for change and empowers them to transform their students. It works towards social transformation by offering Heartfulness methods for individual change. Our self-development programs in schools and colleges are creating a culture of values for both teachers and students, through practical methods of relaxation, introspection and meditation. Heart Programme: – Advanced Plan is an educational training course with five parts of the academic year, this course provides enough practice, life skills and knowledge to improve the quality of teacher education. The Need: – Teachers are committed to making a difference in students’ lives. The teacher’s role is physically, emotionally and mentally demanding, but most teacher training focuses only on pedagogy and content without developing social, mental and cognitive skills. This is especially true of today’s world leaders. .The Intervention: A Heartfulness teacher will be a perfect role model, catalyst for change, good listener, centered & relaxed, nurtures inspiration, effective delegator, subtle facilitator and creates a joyful &conductive atmosphere.”
- The Heart education Curriculum for Students:
The “Heart Education” course is designed for students from grades 1 to 9, our goal is to engage students in their growth in sensitive lesson plans (including interesting stories, interesting activities and games) to develop sensitive and social intelligence, confidence and equilibrium.
According to fundamental principles on education set by The International Education Committee for the 21st century “Education must contribute to the all-round development of each individual – mind and body, intelligence, sensitivity, aesthetic sense, personal responsibility and spiritual values.”
“Curriculum for STUDENTS: Grades 1- 9
- Create a caring and empathic learning environment through compassionate approaches,
- Spiral courses for students in grades 1-9
- Activity textbook for Students & Lesson plans for Teachers,
- Comprehensive teacher training plan, (The HEART Program)
- Explore indoor sports and student recreation with fun filled activies.
Steps about knowing the heart education
Our programs are designed for all schools and focus on giving simple and practical techniques to nurture individual well-being and balanced living.
Ø Heartful Schools
- Programs for Students and Educators
Elementary School Students
- Relaxation sessions
- Knowing and facing emotions
- Fostering positivity
- Sleep and rest well
- Art of love
Middle School Students
- Relaxation sessions
- Self-observation journal writing
- Tuning in to your heart to make decisions
- Positivity: inside and outside, to build healthier relationships
- Sleep and rest well
- Art of silence
High School Students
- Workshop series include:
- Relaxation, rejuvenation and meditation series
- Self-observation journal writing
- Happiness Quotient
- Importance of prioritizing
- Becoming settled in your self
- Positivity and co-existing with different personalities
- Attitude and values that lead to excellence
Faculty and Administrators
- Relaxation and meditation sessions
- Learn to work more effectively and efficiently
- Develop clarity in decision-making
- Have increased empathy, tolerance and patience
Parents and Caregivers
- Relaxation and meditation sessions
- Experience inner-balance while juggling the many demands of parenthood
- Develop increased empathy, tolerance and patience with your children and loved ones
- Experience Heartfulness
Train the Trainers
Heartfulness has champion and trainer programs that work with your school’s administrators, teachers and student volunteers to “train the trainers” to lead ongoing relaxation and meditation sessions”
Benefits of Heartfulness Programs in Schools
Teachers and students will have the ability to deal with daily problems, develop a heart-based nurturing environment, provide students with less time for behavior management, more time for high-quality learning, and decision-making skills will improve over time , And to promote the outstanding achievement of most people, the school will become a more unified department.
Vision of Heartfulness education trust : ‘The creation of a new generation of minds through holistic education is the beginning of the overall development of human culture based on heart-based meditation tools. Our vision is to enable teachers and students to lead a balanced, purposeful and happy life through the learning of mind and nature, so that they are able to contribute to sustainable school reform and community citizenship.
Mission of Heartfulness education trust: To improve social welfare by providing a new generation of students with good awareness, compassion and skills, thereby changing society.’
Conclusion: – After analysing all the above data, it is concluded that Crimes against children are increasing day by day. A number of Preventive & Protective laws are available but have not been proving effective. Elimination of the root cause of crime is necessary to overcome the crimes and the criminal mens rea is the root cause of crime. A heart education program can be included with today’s education. After knowing about heart education, it can be said that if heart education is implemented by the government to develop moral values in children in every school, then essentially moral qualities can be developed and the root cause of crime can be eradicated only by developing moral qualities. That is why criminal status (Mens Rea) cannot be created because except in a few exceptions, criminal status(Mens Rea ) and illegal act (Actus Reus) together constitute crime. If there is no criminal state of mind(Mens Rea), then there will be no crime and in this way crimes against children can also be removed and the country can be protected by keeping children safe, thus implementing the heart education is only effective way to protect children and our country.
As a researcher and patriotic, I would like to give a suggestion that efforts should be made at the earliest to remove the increasing crimes against children in the country. So heart education should be implemented compulsorily in every school to develop moral values by government, by trying to eliminate the root cause of crime, crimes can be completely eliminated.
 Data of Crimes against children available at https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/109-children-sexually-abused-every-day-india-2018-1636160-2020-01-12(Last visited on August 19, 2020).
 B.R. Kapoor v. State of Tamilnadu, AIR 2001 SC 3435
 The Constitution of India, Art.15(3)
 The Constitution of India, Art.21
 Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India and others, (1997) 10 SCC 549.
 The Constitution of India, Art.21(A).
 Ibid, Art.23
 V.N.Shukla, Constitution of India p.201, (Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 1998) .
 The Constitution of India, Art.24
 Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India and others, (1997) 10 SCC 549.
 The Constitution of India, Art.39(e)
 Ibid, Art,39(f)
 Ibid, Art.41
 Ibid, Art.42
 Ibid, Art.45
 Ibid, Art.46
 Ibid, Art.47
 Ibid, Art.51A
 Ibid, Art.350A
 The Constitution of India, Seventh Schedule, Art246
 The Constitution of India, Seventh Schedule, Art.246
 The Constitution of India, Eleventh Schedule, (Art.243G)
 Ibid, Twelfth Schedule, (Art.243W)
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