Recently , The Kerala High Court expressed its concerns over adolescents being unaware of the consequences of having sexual relationships with each other, even if they are consensual, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the amended Section 376 of IPC.Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas was adjudicating upon a bail application when he commented on the alarming rise in the number of sexual offences being committed against school children, most of them being cases where teenagers indulged in sexual relationships, oblivious to the severe consequences under the POCSO Act.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas sought the viewsof the department of education,CBSE, and Kerala State Legal Services Authority on the ways to create awareness through school curriculum while while considering a bail plea in a POCSO case.The court said it is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of sexual offences being committed on school children and noted that the perpetrators of the crime in many cases are either students or persons young in age, with the alleged crime being the result of relationships that went beyond platonic love.Although ignorance of law is not an excuse, (ignorantia juris non excusat), the Court found it imperative that school children be made aware of the POCSO Act. Therefore, the State and the Department of Education were asked to take necessary steps to raise awareness of the same by including it in the curriculum if possible.

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