After ruling the controversial 'skin to skin contact' not constituting as a sexual offence, Bombay High Court has ordered another such verdict.
According to News 18, the Bombay High Court's Nagpur Bench has now ruled that “the act of holding a girl's hands and opening the zip of pants will not come under the definition of sexual assault” under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.
The ruling was announced by a single bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala following the criminal appeal against a 50-year-old man for molesting a 5-year-old girl. The mother of the minor filed a complaint stating that she saw the accused with his pant zip open and holding the hands of her daughter. She further added that the minor confirmed that the accused removed his penis from the pant and asked her to come to the bed for sleeping.
After the said appeal, the bench observed that the case comes under 'sexual harassment' not 'sexual assault' since there was no 'actual touching of private parts'.
Thus, the accused was charged under Section 354A (1) (i) IPC which deals with physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. This charge carries a maximum of 3 years of imprisonment.
The sessions court had earlier convicted the man and ruled it to be "aggravated sexual assault" punishable under Section 10 of POCSO and sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 25,000 with a default simple imprisonment for six months.
However, the Nagpur Bench set aside his conviction under Sections 8, 10 and 12 of POCSO Act.
H/ T : News 18