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If there is no skin-to-skin contact, it can't be sexual assault: Court

Monday, January 25, 2021 • Tamil Comments

Child abuse and sexual assault on children is considered a serious crime in India. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was passed years ago to curb the incidence of child sexual abuse.

However, in its latest judgement, the Bombay High Court has noted that groping a minor's breast is not assault if skin-to-skin contact is absent. This has raised many eyebrows. The verdict was delivered as an interpretation of the POCSO Act.

The verdict came about in the case of a man gripping the breast of a 12-year-old girl in 2016. The predator tried to remove the victim's clothes but didn't. Since there was no skin-to-skin contact, the offender has been punished under the IPC Section 354, which deals with outraging woman's modesty.

Reacting to the verdict, IAS officer Sanjay Dixit wrote, "If the absence of skin to skin contact is not groping, then forced vaginal insertion by a condom wearing male organ need not be rape! Judiciary has gone bonkers. Basic IQ missing."

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