'Dangerous...': What KK Venugopal said about 'no skin touch, no assault' verdict

The verdict was passed on January 19 by Justice Pushpa Ganediwala where it was said that there must be skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent for an act to be considered sexual assault.
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)
Updated on Jan 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com,

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Bombay high court judgment of acquitting a man of groping a 12-year-old as there was no skin to skin touch. The judgment sets a dangerous precedent, the advocate general has said.

The stay order came as attorney general KK Venugopal mentioned the judgment in front of a CJI-led bench on Wednesday. The bench permitted the AG to file an appropriate petition against the order.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court observed that pressing of the breast of a child does not constitute "sexual assault" under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as there was no skin to skin touch. The verdict drew flak from activists and the National Commission for Women challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.

The verdict was passed on January 19 by Justice Pushpa Ganediwala where it was said that there must be skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent for an act to be considered sexual assault.

Here is all you need to know about the order and the controversy surrounding it

> The order said as per the definition of sexual assault, a 'physical contact with sexual intent without penetration' is an essential ingredient of the offence.

> The order said the act of groping falls under the definition of offence but not a sexual assault as there was no specific data as to whether the top was removed or whether he inserted his hand inside the top and pressed her breast etc.

> The National Commission for Women said the judgment will not only have a cascading effect on various provisions involving the safety and security of women in general but will also subject all women to ridicule.

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Thursday, May 19, 2022