GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
QUESTION NO. 580
ANSWERED ON 07.02.2019
Devadasi system under POSCO Act
Will the Minister of WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT be pleased to state:-
(a) whether Government is aware that even after passing of the Devadasis Act of 1982, young girls are still being forced into the Devadasi system which, in the name of custom, is actually a commercial sex racket in Karnataka;
(b) Whether Government has any data on the number of such cases and if so, the details thereof, State-wise;
(c) What steps Government has taken against such practices; and
(d)whether Government would consider bringing this issue under POCSO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and the proposed Trafficking Bill and make it punishable thereunder?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
(DR. VIRENDRA KUMAR)
(a)& (b): As reported by the Government of Karnataka, since the inception of the Act till now 17 cases have been booked under the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act 1982. Out of which 12 cases were dismissed due to non-availability of proper evidences. In one case penalty has been imposed, four cases are pending in Court. However, no such complaint has been registered in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
(c): The State Government concerned have been taking action for rehabilitation of Devadasis as per their State Act on Prohibition of Dedication in coordination with other authorities. The State Government is also creating awareness to eradicate this system. The Government of India has issued advisory dated 22.12.2015 regarding “Abolition of Devadasi System”
(d): The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 considers every person as child upto the age of 18 years and sexual offences defined in the POCSO Act are punishable as per the gravity of the offences.