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Allahabad HC lowers sentence for Man who Sexually Assaulted Minor

2 min read

Swarna Shukla –

Published on: November 24, 2021 at 19:50 IST

A Single-Judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court partially allowed an Appeal by a man convicted under the stringent POCSO Act by a lower Court of sexual assault on a 10-year-old child.

The High Court ruled the man’s offence did not fall under the law’s definition of “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” – a minimum 10-year jail term. However, the Court said it should be viewed as “penetrative sexual assault” a lesser offence that carries a minimum seven-year jail term.

The matter dates back to the year 2018, a Court in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi District found Sonu Kushwaha guilty of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy by forcing him to perform oral sex, and threatening him if he disclosed the assault.

The Convict was found guilty under Section 6 of POCSO, and Section 377 and Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment but appealed his conviction before the High Court.Justice Anil Kumar Ojha of the Allahabad High stated, “Perusal of the record reveals that informant and victim have supported the prosecution story and the evidence of prosecution witnesses are cogent, trustworthy, credible and probable, hence, finding with regard to conviction is confirmed.”

The Judge further added, “From perusal of provisions of POCSO Act, it is clear the offence neither falls under Section 5/6 nor under Section 9(M) because there is penetrative sexual assault in the present case as appellant has put his penis into mouth of victim and  putting the penis into the mouth does not fall into the category of aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault.”

However, Section 5(M) of POCSO defines ‘aggravated penetrative sexual assault’ as the offence of ‘penetrative sexual assault’ on a child below 12 years old.