For POCSO Offenses, Half of Life Imprisonment Is 10 Years: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court sentenced a convict to one half of life imprisonment under the POCSO Act, who will have to undergo a sentence of 10-years under the learned Justice SARANG V. KOTWAL, J. in the case of Suresh @ Pintya Kashinath Kamble V The State of Maharashtra (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.272 OF 2017)


The High Court’s 2018 judgement sentencing a defendant to “one half life imprisonment” in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) case sparked a question from the Superintendent of Kolhapur Prison, who asked the court to interpret the sentence.

According to the clause, a life sentence is equal to 20 years in jail when determining a fraction or part of an overall sentence.

Justice Kotwal said in dismissing the petition, “Thus, half of life sentence in such situations would mean incarceration for ten years.

In accordance with Section 18 read with Section 6 of the POCSO and for the offence punishable by Section 511 read with Section 376(2) of the IPC, he was ordered to serve a half-life sentence in prison.

The supervisor claimed he was unable to comprehend the precise number of years the accused was sentenced to in jail.

Drupad Patil was chosen by Justice Kotwal to serve as an amicus curiae. According to Patil, the entire subject is covered by Sections 57 of the IPC and Section 2(2) of the POCSO Act. Words and phrases that are utilised but not specified may be used from the IPC, Juvenile Justice Act, CrPC, etc., in accordance with section 2(2) of the POCSO Act.


The matter was settled through the case of Chandrakant Vithal Pawar vs State of Maharashtra, he said.He submitted that the Superintendent should have approached the Law and Judiciary department instead of approaching the court.

“…for the words and expressions not defined under POCSO Act they will have to be given meaning in consonance with their meaning in IPC. The wording ‘life imprisonment’ is not defined under POCSO Act. However, those words are used under IPC and, therefore, reference will have to be made to IPC provisions and they will have to be relied on. In this particular question, the quantum of sentence is to be looked at,” Justice Kotwal observed in his order.

The court stated that this explanation was reasonable enough to interpret the High Court’s order.

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Judgement reviewed by Sudarshana Jha

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