BREAKING: Supreme Court quashes skin-to-skin judgement of Bombay HC - SARKARI JOB INDIAN

BREAKING: Supreme Court quashes skin-to-skin judgement of Bombay HC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday (November 18, 2021) set aside the Bombay High Court judgment which held that groping a minor’s breast without “skin to skin contact” can’t be termed as sexual assault as defined under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

“Purpose of the law cannot be to allow the offender to escape the meshes of the law,” the apex court said.

A bench headed by Justice U U Lalit and comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, quashed the high court judgment and said that the most important part of constituting sexual assault is sexual intent and not skin-to-skin with the child. Adding that the purpose of the law cannot be to allow the offender to escape the meshes of the law.

“We have held that when the legislature has expressed clear intention, the courts cannot create ambiguity in the provision. It is right that courts cannot be overzealous in creating ambiguity,” the bench said.

The top court, which was hearing separate appeals of Attorney General and the National Commission for women (NCW), had on January 27 stayed the order which had acquitted a man under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act saying groping a minor’s breast without ‘skin to skin contact’ cannot be termed as sexual assault .

The sessions court had sentenced the man to three years of imprisonment for the offences under the POCSO Act as also under IPC section 354. The sentences were to run concurrently.

The high court, however, acquitted him under the POCSO Act while upholding his conviction under IPC section 354.

(With PTI inputs)

 

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