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For an offence of sodomy under POCSO Act, the victim should be below 18 years and accused should be guilty u/s 377 of the IPC: High Court of Delhi

In order to bring home the guilt of accused within the ambit of Section 6 of the POCSO Act, it was incumbent for the prosecution to prove that the victim was a minor, i.e. below the age of 18 years at the time of commission of crime. For convicting the Appellant/Accused for an offence punishable under Section 377 of the IPC, the prosecution has to prove that the Appellant/Accused had committed sodomy upon the victim and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE CHANDRA DHARI SINGH in the case of LAXMAN @ LUCKY vs. STATE [CRL.A. 321/2016] on 04.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that an FIR was registered on the written complaint lodged by the complainant/father of the victim. As per the FIR, Complainant’s son aged about 10 years disclosed him that on the very same day Appellant/Accused herein took him to Nala (Drainage area) in Delhi and committed sodomy (unnatural sexual act) and threatened him not to tell the incident to anybody otherwise he would kill him. On the said complaint instant FIR was lodged and the Appellant/Accused was arrested on the same day. Hence, the instant criminal appeal assailing the impugned judgment and order on sentence on the ground of validity, propriety and legality.

The appellant’s counsel submitted that the learned Trial Court failed to appreciate the oral and circumstantial evidences on record. It was further submitted that there is delay in lodging the FIR and the delay in lodging the FIR has not been explained by the complainant. It is also submitted that there is no medical report of the victim on record showing any sodomy. Therefore, these facts are sufficient to create doubt over the allegations.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the evidence on record squarely proved that victim was minor at the time of commission of crime and the appellant has committed sodomy on the victim as all prosecution witnesses, exhibited documents and other circumstantial evidences have proved the case of the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, the findings of the Trial Court do not warrant any interference.

The Court held that the prosecution have succeeded to prove that accused committed sodomy on victim. Therefore, he is guilty for the offence punishable under Section 377 of the IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act.

The Court observed, “In order to bring home the guilt of accused within the ambit of Section 6 of the POCSO Act, it was incumbent for the prosecution to prove that the victim was a minor, i.e. below the age of 18 years at the time of commission of crime. For convicting the Appellant/Accused for an offence punishable under Section 377 of the IPC, the prosecution has to prove that the Appellant/Accused had committed sodomy upon the victim.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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