Lawstreet Journal

'Skin To Skin' Contact Necessary For 'Sexual Assault' Under POCSO Act, 2012 : SC stays Bombay HC Judgment

Lawstreet Journal 29 Jan 2021 12:49am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary 'Skin To Skin' Contact Necessary For 'Sexual Assault' Under POCSO Act, 2012 : SC stays Bombay HC Judgment

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court acquitted a man of sexual assault on the grounds that pressing the breasts of a child over her clothes without direct “skin to skin” physical contact does not constitute “sexual assault” under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The order was passed by Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala.

The Supreme Court stayed the acquittal of the accused under the Bombay High Court Judgment. The bench was headed by Chief Justice of India, Sharad Arvind Bobde. The CJI acted on the issue when Attorney General, KK Venugopal submitted that the judgment which held that 'skin to skin' contact is necessary for sexual assault under POCSO Act is 'unprecedented' and is 'likely to set a dangerous precedent'.

The acquittal of accused under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, 2012 has thus been stayed and a notice has been issued to him to be returned in 2 weeks. The Attorney General has also been directed to file proper petition challenging the judgment.

The 39 year old accused was held guilty of sexual assault for groping a 12- year- old- girl and removing her salwar by sessions court. The Bombay High Court held that such an act would amount to 'molestation' under Section 354 of IPC and not Sexual assault.

The act of pressing of breast of the child aged 12 years, in the absence of any specific detail as to whether the top was removed or whether he inserted his hand inside top and pressed her breast,… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act   POCSO Act  
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