Holding Hands Of Minor Girl & Opening Pants Zip Not 'Sexual Assault' Under POCSO Act But 'Sexual Harassment' Under Section 354A IPC : Bombay High Court
In a 19 January judgment, Bombay HC's Nagpur seat decided that the demonstration of grabbing a youngster's breast, with no skin-to-skin contact, is not sexual assault under the law. "Bizarre", "not legitimately stable", "ridiculous" — lawful specialists have lashed out at a judgment articulated by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court this month that interpreted sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012, to incorporate just "skin-to-skin" contact with sexual expectation. In a judgment passed on 19 January, Justice Pushpa V. Ganediwala vindicated one Satish under Section 7 (rape) of the POCSO Act, while deciding that the demonstration of grabbing a child's breast, with no skin-to-skin contact and sexual intent , is not sexual assault under the law."The demonstration of grabbing youngster breast of the youngster matured 12 years, without a particular detail regarding whether the top was taken out or whether he embedded his hand inside top and squeezed her breast, would not fall in the meaning of ' sexual assault'," the court said.
Physical contact for sexual assault under Section 7 of the POCSO Act would mean “direct physical contact i.e. skin to skin”, the court added. “Admittedly, it is not the case of the prosecution that the appellant removed her top and pressed her breast. Thusly, there is no immediate actual contact for example skin to skin with sexual purpose without entrance," it said.The court brought up that it wasn't the arraignment case that Satish "eliminated her top and squeezed her bosom". It at that point thought that this would fall under Section 354 (attack of criminal power on a lady with expectation to shock her unobtrusiveness) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and indicted Satish under this arrangement. This prompted his discipline being decreased from a three-year thorough detainment — the base under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, which sets down discipline for offences recorded under Section 7 -to a year's thorough detainment - the base under Section 354.
Numerous legitimate specialists said the translation received by the court goes past the words utilised in the arrangements of the POCSO Act, calling it “bizarre”, “ridiculous” and “legally unsound”. Such decisions, they added, send some unacceptable message to preliminary courts.Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has kept in touch with the Maharashtra government requesting that it document a pressing allure against the decision. In a letter to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary, NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the words "skin-to-skin with sexual goal without infiltration" in the judgment should be "assessed", and affirmed that "the state should observe this as it is by all accounts injurious to the minor victim".National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma reported on Twitter Monday they will challenge the judgement.