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SC reduces 20-year jail sentence to TN man, convicted of POCSO, on the ground of saving his marriage to victim

NEW DELHI: In a rare and unusual order and just to save the convict’s marriage with the victim, the three-judge Special Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dr D Y Chandrachud on Monday remitted the 20-year jail sentence of the man from Tamil Nadu found guilty of the aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl whom he later married and had two children with in Tamil Nadu.

The Apex Court passed the order on a curative petition, filed by the convict, Sankar. As per the case, he was the uncle of the victim.

The Madras High Court had also upheld the 20 year jail sentence and then Supreme Court too. The SC had earlier also rejected Sankar’s appeal and review of the appeal plea for reduction of his jail sentence, forcing him to file a curative plea before it.

The man was convicted and sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 6 (Aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in 2018.

Invoking extraordinary powers of the Supreme Court to do ‘complete justice’ endowed to the top court by Article 142 of the Constitution, the Apex Court passed the order and remitted the jail sentence of 20 years to the term, Sankar, had already undergone, as more than six years.

The Special Bench, also comprising the two senior most judges, Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai, passed the order

Sankar, in his curative plea had argued before the Apex court that “with his incarceration, his marital life with the prosecutrix (the assault victim who is his wife now) has been shattered, leaving the prosecutrix and her children destitute”.

He said he and the prosecutrix had been married for many years and have two children.

Considering the “peculiar facts” of the case, the Apex Court remitted the remaining prison sentence of Sankar. It ordered him to be released, and the fine of ₹2 lakh imposed on him to be waived.

While referring and citing two of its earlier judgments, including K. Dandapani, the Top Court passed the order.

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