According to News18, the Allahabad High Court lowered the sentence of a defendant who forced a kid to have “oral sex” with him since the crime was “less serious.”
Sonu Kushwaha’s appeal against a special sessions court ruling sentencing him to ten years in prison was heard by Justice Anil Kumar Ojha. His sentence has been reduced to seven years in prison by the High Court.
According to India Legal, Dev Singh, a native of Jhansi district, said that Kushwaha took his 10-year-old son to a shrine in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardaul town and forced the kid to perform “oral sex” in exchange for Rs 20.
Kushwaha was found guilty under sections 377 (unnatural offences) and 506 (penalty for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, or POCSO Act.
Aggravated penetrative sexual assault is punishable under Section 6 of the Act.
The defendant, however, could not be tried under section 6 because “placing a penis into the [minor’s] mouth does not fall within the category of severe sexual assault or sexual assault,” according to the Allahabad High Court.
The court stated, “It falls within the category of penetrative sexual assault, which is criminal under section 4 of the POCSO Act.”
Penalties for penetrative sexual assault are outlined in Section 4 of the Act.
“Because penetrative sexual assault is a lower crime than aggravated penetrative sexual assault, it is legally permissible to convict the appellant therein,” the court stated.
The Supreme Court overturned a Bombay High Court judgement on “skin-to-skin contact” in cases filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act just days before the Allahabad High Court made its statement about the “least serious” sexual crime.
On January 19, the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench ruled that in order to prove a case under the Act, an accused individual and a juvenile must have had “skin-to-skin contact.” It had ruled that groping a minor’s breast without taking off her clothes did not qualify as sexual assault under Section 7 of the POCSO Act.
The Supreme Court overturned this decision, stating that “sexual intent” was the most significant factor in determining sexual assault under the Act, and that “skin-to-skin contact” was irrelevant in such cases.