NCPCR asked State govt to petition against judgment given by Bombay High Court on sexual assault case

Jan25,2021 #Bombay High Court #NCPCR

Sreya Kanugula

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which is the Indian apex body for child rights, asked the government of Maharashtra to file an immediate appeal against the judgment given by the Bombay High Court in a sexual assault case.

In the case, they stated that an act of sexual assault doesn’t occur or the act cannot be termed so if there wasn’t any “skin-to-skin” contact.

In the letter written to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, the chief of NCPCR stated that the words “skin-to-skin with sexual intention without penetration” given in the judgment should also come under review. And that the state must make note of this since it can be deemed as derogatory with regards to the minor victim of the case.

In the judgment given on the 19th of January, 2021, the High Court of Bombay stated that groping the breast of a minor with no “skin-to-skin contact” shall not be termed as sexual assault as the act defined under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The judge of Nagpur’s bench, Justice Pushpa Ganediwala held this statement up and said that there should be “skin to skin contact with sexual intent” for the act to be categorised under sexual assault.

The statement in the judgment drew the ire of several child rights bodies as well as activists all over the country.

Mr. Priyank Kanoongo, the NCPCR chief also stated that the case in question’s victim’s identity had also been disclosed and the commission’s view is that the State must make note of this before beginning the necessary steps to prevent further damage.

Therefore, in view of the above and considering the seriousness of the issue, the commission being the monitoring body under section 44 of the POCSO Act, 2012 requests you to take necessary steps in the matter and file an urgent appeal against the aforesaid impugned judgment of the Hon’ble High Court.” Mr. Kanoongo’s letter stated.

You are requested to provide details of the minor victim (maintaining strict confidentiality) so that the commission can provide help such as legal aid etc. in the best interest of the child,” the chief added in his request.

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