Oral sex with minor a 'lesser offence' says Allahabad High Courttext_fields
Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has landed in controversy after it reduced the sentence of a convicted child molester who had coerced a 10-year-old boy into performing oral sex. Oral sex with a minor is not aggravated sexual assault and only a "lesser" offence, the Allahabad High Court has concluded in a judgment.
The bench headed by Justice Anil Kumar Ojha had reduced the sentence of the convict on the basis that oral sex with a minor was a 'lesser offence' and not aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault which he was convicted for. Instead, the sentence was more appropriate for penetrative sexual assault which is punishable under Section 4 of the POCSO Act the judge ruled.
The trial court had sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹5,000. The minimum sentence under Section 6 is 10 years which may extend to life imprisonment. The High Court then reduced the prison sentence to a minimum sentence of seven years but retained the fine.
This judgement comes after the Supreme Court had, on November 18, overturned a Bombay High Court judgement that stated that sexual assault on a minor could only be considered if there was skin to skin contact involved. The Supreme Court made it clear that it is sexual intent that constitutes the offence of sexual assault and held that this absurdly narrow interpretation would destroy the intent of the far-reaching law, which is meant to protect children.