Sexual assault and death of boy: HC commutes death sentence


The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has commuted the death sentence imposed on a man hailing from Gujarat for the sexual assault and death of a 17-year-old specially abled boy in Pudukkottai district in 2019 to 30 years rigorous imprisonment.

In 2021, the Pudukkottai Mahila court awarded the death penalty to the Gujarat man Danish Patel for offences under various Sections of the IPC and the POCSO Act. The convict was working as a heavy vehicle operator in a private crusher unit in the district.

The convict kidnapped the boy and sexually assaulted him. The boy underwent 20 days of treatment at the Pudukkottai Medical College Hospital and later succumbed to injuries due to septicemia.

A Division Bench of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and G. Jayachandran held that the death of the victim falls under the definition culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The death was caused without any intention to cause death.

The convict’s intention to cause the bodily injuries was not to cause death, but to satisfy his lust. The prosecution was able to establish that the death was due to the injury, but failed to prove that the particular injury was intended by the convict, the court said.

The court made it clear that it was for the restricted purpose of deciding the charge for the offence under Section 302 (murder) IPC. In respect of POCSO Act, the legislature has consciously not used the expression ‘murder’, but used the expression ‘death’.

Under POCSO Act it was sufficient for the prosecution to prove that the accused had committed penetrative sexual assault on the child, which caused the death of the child. It is not material whether such death is culpable homicide amounting to murder or not amounting to murder.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 1:50:50 PM |

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