POCSO Offenders Deserve No Leniency: Supreme Court
[09 February 2022] In a case where a 65-year-old man committed aggravated penetrative sexual assault on his 4-year-old neighbor, the bench of MR Shah and BV Nagarathna, JJ has observed that any act of sexual assault or sexual harassment to the children should be viewed very seriously and all such offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment on the children have to be dealt with in a stringent manner and no leniency should be shown to a person who has committed the offence under the POCSO Act. The Court observed that it is a case where trust has been betrayed and social values are impaired. Therefore, the Court was of the opinion that the accused as such does not deserve any sympathy and/or any leniency. However, the punishment provided for the offence under Section 6, at the relevant time was ten years RI and which may extend to imprisonment for life. Considering that now the accused is aged 70-75 years of age and is suffering from Tuberculosis (TB), the Court was of the opinion that if the life sentence is converted to fifteen years RI and the fine imposed by the Trial Court confirmed by the High Court to be maintained, it can be said to be an adequate punishment commensurate with the offence committed by the accused.