Over 51,600 cases of rape, POCSO offences disposed through 660 fast track special courts: Smriti Irani

By Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Observing that ‘oral sex’ with a minor does not come under the ‘aggravated sexual assault’ category in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Allahabad High Court reduced the jail term of a man convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy from 10 years to seven years.

A single-judge bench of Justice Anil Kumar pronounced the judgment on November 20 while hearing the convict Sonu Kushwaha’s plea challenging a special sessions court order sentencing him to ten years’ imprisonment. In 2018, it was alleged by a resident of UP’s Jhansi district that his 10-year-old son was taken to a place of worship by Kushwaha and forced to have “oral sex” in lieu of Rs 20.

The special sessions court in Jhansi convicted Kushwaha under IPC Sections 377 (unnatural offences) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), along with section 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012. However, the HC held that the convict could not be charged under section 6 of POCSO Act as the oral sex does not fall in the category of aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault. “It comes into the category of penetrative sexual assault which is punishable under section 4 of POCSO Act and not Section 6 of the same law,” the court said.