The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, in a recent judgment, said that any activity would be considered as a category of sexual assault only when there was ‘skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent’. The judgment said that ‘just touching force’ would not fall under the category of sexual assault.
The High Court said all this during the hearing on the petition of a sexual assault accused. The accused is an accuse of sexually abusing a minor girl.
The court said that merely touching the minor’s chest will not be called sexual assault. The judgment said that unless the accused takes physical contact by removing the clothes of the victim or putting his hands in clothes, it will not be considered as sexual assault.
The single-judge bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala also changed the person’s conviction while giving the verdict.
During the hearing, the judge said that sexual assault under POCSO law includes sexual intent and physical touching of the child’s private parts without penetration or forcing the accused to touch the private part of the child.
Touching without physical contact is not sexual assault?
According to the Free Press Journal, Justice Ganediwala said, “The case of Prosecution is not that the accused took off the top of the girl and pressed her breast. There is no direct physical contact with sexual intent without penetration.”
“Without any clear information such as whether the top was removed or the accused put his hand inside the top. In its absence, the action of pressing the breast of a 12-year-old girl cannot be classified as sexual assault. This will come under section 354 of the IPC, which lays down the provision of punishment for breach of a woman’s shame.” said Justice Pushpa Ganediwala
According to the Free Press Journal report, the accused lured the victim girl on the pretext of giving her a guava and took her to his house. Later, when the girl’s mother reached the spot, they found their daughter having bread. The girl told the entire incident to her mother, after which an FIR was registered