As a law firm, we would like to shed light on the important Section 42 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which pertains to Non Resident Indians (NRI). This section mandates that any person who commits a sexual offence against a child may be punished under this act even if the offence is perpetrated outside India.
This provision assumes paramount significance for NRI’s as there have been increasing occurrences of sexual offences being committed by them, especially when they come to India due to their connection and familiarity with the country. There are also circumstances where these offences remain unnoticed or unreported because either it happened in foreign land or due to fear from perpetrators.
The POCSO Act came into force on November 14, 2012, which introduced several significant provisions such as innovative ways for appointing Special Public Prosecutors and child-friendly procedures during trials. In addition, the main highlight of POCSO was its extraterritorial jurisdiction provision embodied in Section 42.
There have been various cases involving an NRI committing sexual offences against Indian children while residing overseas which was not penalized under the Indian legal framework until now. The introduction of extraterritorial jurisdiction implies that justice will be served irrespective of where the crime occurred globally.
One such case is Mukesh Sharma v Union Territory Chandigarh , where Mr. Mukesh Sharma raped his eight-year-old daughter repeatedly when he lived in Canada but committed suicide before facing trial after fleeing back to India. Although it happened overseas, yet Indian authorities had prosecuted him following Sec-42(1)of Pocso act along with other legal provisions
In another landmark judgment- State vs Aref Abdul Razak Bagban  ,the Kerala High court sentenced Aref Abdul Razak Bagban(an NRI living in UAE at that time)to life imprisonment under Section-376 IPC along with Sec-4 and 6 of the POCSO Act for sexually abusing a minor girl (3 years old) in Oman.
The Indian government, through this provision, has ensured that offenders can not escape punishment just because they committed an offence in foreign soil, leaving no space for impunity. Additionally, it is worth mentioning here that India has also signed several international conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of Child which prioritize combatting child sexual abuse beyond its territorial boundaries.
In conclusion, Section 42 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act acts as a potent weapon against those who seek to evade criminal liability by committing crimes abroad. This directly impacts Non Resident Indians who must be aware of their responsibilities and obligations towards children irrespective of where they reside or commit any offence under this act.
 Mukesh Sharma V Union Territory Chandigarh -2018 SC
 State vs Aref Abdul Razak Bagban – Kerala HC