The controversy over the decision to touch Breast was not yet over that the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court gave another shocking verdict.
Under which the holding of the hand of a minor girl and the opening of the pants is not a sexual assault under POCSO, but it is a case of sexual harassment under Section 354 of the IPC.
On the basis of this, the High Court overturned the decision of the lower court and reduced the sentence of the accused.
A five-year-old girl was sexually abused.The lower court considered it a sexual assault under Section 10 of POSCO and sentenced the accused to 5 years’ rigorous imprisonment. Also, he was fined 25 thousand rupees. The matter then reached the High Court, where the girl’s mother said that she saw the accused’s pants zip open, along with the girl’s hand.
Apart from this, she told that the 50-year-old accused had asked her daughter to come to bed.
A single bench of Justice Pushpa Ganeediwala heard the arguments of the accused and the aggrieved party.
He then said that this is a case of sexual assault and not sexual assault. The court interpreted the term ‘physical contact’ in the definition of sexual assault as saying that it means direct physical contact — that is, skin-to-skin-contact without sexual penetration. For this reason, the Court considered it as Section 354A (1) (i) of the IPC and quashed the sentence given under Sections 8, 10 and 12 of the Posco Act. Section 354A (1) (i) provides for a maximum sentence of three years.
The High Court also held that the sentence of imprisonment of 5 months already by the accused is sufficient punishment for the offense.