Oral sex with a minor is not aggravated sexual assault and only a “lesser” offence, the Allahabad High Court has concluded in a judgment.
“Putting penis into mouth does not fall in the category of aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault. It comes into category of penetrative sexual assault which is punishable under Section 4 of POCSO Act ,” a Single Judge Bench of Justice Anil Kumar Ojha of the High Court has concluded in a recent judgment.
The Bench has reduced the sentence of the convict.
The case concerns a man who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy. The boy’s relative discovered the crime when he found an unaccounted ₹20 with the child. When asked about it, the child narrated the incident.
The Sessions Court had earlier convicted the man under “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” under Section 6 of the POCSO Act.
The trial court had sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹5,000. The minimum sentence under Section 6 is 10 years which may extend to life imprisonment.
However, the Single Judge of the High Court had set aside the trial court findings and said oral sex did not amount to “aggravated penetrative sexual assault” but was only “penetrative sexual assault” under Section 4 of the Act.
“Penetrative sexual assault being lesser offence from aggravated penetrative sexual assault is legally permissible to convict the appellant [accused],” the High Court said.
The High Court then reduced the prison sentence to a minimum sentence of seven years but retained the fine.