Holding minor’s hand, opening pants zip not sexual assault under POCSO: Bombay High Court

Days after ruling on ‘skin-to-skin contact’, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has stated that holding a minor woman’s hand and opening her pants zip can’t be termed as ‘sexual assault’ under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012. Such acts would quantity to sexual harassment under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, the courtroom stated.

The courtroom’s findings got here from a single bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, who was listening to a case in a legal enchantment filed towards the conviction and sentence awarded to a 50 12 months previous man for molesting a 5 12 months previous woman. The trial courtroom had sentenced the convict to five years rigorous imprisonment and a effective of Rs 25,000 for sexual assault under Section 10 of the POCSO. The woman’s mom had complained that the accused’s pants zip was open, and her daughter had her arms in his arms. Explaining the time period ‘bodily contact’ within the definition of sexual assault, the courtroom said that it means “direct physical contact – that is, skin-to-skin-contact without sexual penetration.”

The courtroom famous that the matter falls under Section 354A (1) (i) of the IPC, due to this fact, the sentence under Section 8, 10 and 12 of the POCSO Act was repealed. The man was then convicted under the part which has a provision of imprisonment for a most interval of three years. The courtroom held that the imprisonment of 5 months already served by the accused is enough punishment for the offence.

Earlier on January 19, the identical bench had ruled that groping a minor’s breast with out “skin to skin contact” does not represent “sexual assault” under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Justice Ganediwala, in a judgment handed on January 19, held that there have to be “skin to skin contact with sexual intent” for an act to be thought of sexual assault. The courtroom was listening to a petition by Satish, who was convicted by an area courtroom under Sections 354, 363 (kidnapping) and 342 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter known as IPC) and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

However, since he groped her with out eradicating her garments, the offence can’t be termed as sexual assault, the excessive courtroom held. It, due to this fact, convicted the person under Section 354 of IPC (outraging a girl’s modesty) and sentenced him to endure rigorous imprisonment for one 12 months.

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