Today the Supreme Court has given an important order regarding the Pocso Act. The Supreme Court has changed the High Court’s decision on ‘skin to skin contact’, saying that touching a sexual part of the body with sexual intent is a case of POCSO Act. It cannot be said that touching a child on top of clothes is not sexual abuse. The court said that such a definition would defeat the very purpose of the POCSO Act to protect children from exploitation.
What was the High Court’s decision?
In a controversial decision, the Bombay High Court had removed the section of the POCSO Act from a person who had locked a 12-year-old girl in a room and pressed her on her chest. The High Court had argued that pressing the breast without removing the clothes was a case of outraging the dignity of the woman and not of sexual misconduct. In view of the same, the Supreme Court has now given this clarity. The court has sentenced the accused to three years rigorous imprisonment and fine under the section of POCSO Act.
Judge Ganediwala had amended the decision of the sessions court
Judge Pushpa Ganediwala of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had said in the order that “skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent” was necessary to be considered an act of sexual assault. He said in his decision that mere touching does not come under the definition of sexual assault. Judge Ganediwala had amended a sessions court’s decision, which had sentenced a 39-year-old man to three years’ imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
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