Allahabad High Court did not find oral sex with child as as a serious crime and decreased convict's sentence by three years

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The Allahabad high court reduced the sentence of a Jhansi man who was convicted back in the year 2016 of a forcing 10-year-old child to have oral sex with him.

The court ruled that the act constituted "penetrative sexual assault" under Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and not "aggravated penetrative sexual assault" as defined under Section 6 of the Act.

The case pertains to a 10-year-old victim from Jhansi who was forced to perform oral sex by the accused. The lower court had convicted the accused under section 5/6 of the POCSO Act for causing ‘aggravated sexual assault’ while the high court said that the act only amounts to ‘penetrative sexual assault’ and therefore falls under section 4 of the POCSO act warranting only 7 years imprisonment.

A lower court in Jhansi in 2018 had convicted the man under Section 6 of the POCSO Act and sections 377 and 507 of the IPC, and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.

Challenging the conviction by the lower court, the accused had pleaded before the Allahabad High Court that the offence under section 6 of the POCSO Act was not made out against him.

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.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Anil Kumar Ojha of the High Court has concluded in a recent judgment that “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”.