|India is home to the largest number of sexually abused children in the world with tens of thousands of cases reported every year. Last year, the National Crime Records Bureau registered 43,000 offences under the Pocso Act, that's an average of one case every 12 minutes. (Photo by= Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Just days after India's Supreme Court struck down a controversial order that cleared a man of sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl because "there was no skin-to-skin contact" with the victim, another judgment that reduced the jail term of a man convicted of forcing a 10-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him has caused outrage.
The order, which preceded the landmark Supreme Court ruling by a day but has only now been reported, was pronounced by the Allahabad high court in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The crime dates back to 2016 then during a trial court in August 2018 found the man guilty of "aggravated penetrative sexual assault" under the stringent Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and handed him a 10-year jail sentence. The man appealed and last week, the high court judge reduced his jail term to seven years.
Legal experts have questioned the judgment, saying there are several factors in the Pocso Act that make an assault "aggravated", one of which is if the victim is under 12. But the order has caused much outrage in India with many taking to social media to criticize it. Many pointed out that it’s only last week that the Supreme Court while setting aside the Mumbai high court's "no skin-to-skin contact" order, had said that judges should consider "the sexual intent" and not the details of the act.