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Opening Pants Zip Not ‘Sexual Assault’ under POSCO Act: Bombay HC Judge who ruled on Skin-to-Skin Contact

Team SoOLEGAL 29 Jan 2021 4:31pm

Opening Pants Zip Not ‘Sexual Assault’ under POSCO Act: Bombay HC Judge who ruled on Skin-to-Skin Contact

Bombay High Court, after passing a controversial judgement regarding skin-to-skin contact, once again had ruled that, touching minor’s hand and unzipping an individual’s pant in front of a minor will not come under the description of ‘sexual assault’ under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, Act, 2012. However, this particular act will definitely come under the definition ‘sexual harassment’ under Section 354A (i) of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Justice Pushpa Ganediwala was hearing an appeal against the conviction in which, the accused had been sentenced for five years of imprisonment by the Sessions Court under Section 10 of POSCO Act, for molesting a five year old girl.

The Court was of the view that, this particular case must come under the definition of ‘sexual harassment’ and not ‘sexual assault’. The definition of sexual assault has been given under Section 7 of POSCO Act, where it has stated that, “whoever, with sexual intent touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of the child or makes the child touch the vagina, penis, anus or breast of such person, or any other person, or does any other Act with sexual intent which involves physical contact without penetration is said to commit sexual assault.”

The Court had held that, as in this case there is no physical contact between the accused and the victim hence, this particular offence will not come under the definition of ‘sexual assault’. Recently on 19th January, 2021, the Bombay High Court had ruled that, it is necessary to have a skin-to-skin contact in order to constitute an offence of sexual assault under POSCO Act. This particular judgement of Bombay High Court has been opposed by various activists of different NGOs including National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The Supreme Court had stayed the 19th January order of the Bombay High Court and gave permission to the Attorney General to file an appeal against the said order. According to the Attorney General, the judgement of Bombay High Court may lead to a very dangerous precedent for punishing sexual offenders. 



Tagged: Bombay HC   Sexual Assault   POSCO Act   Sexual Offences   Act   Indian Penal Code   Sessions Court   Child Rights  
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Jatin   29 Jan 2021 6:48pm
With all due respect the name of the Act is POCSO (PREVENTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT) and not POSCO Act.
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