The Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold the controversial judgement of the Bombay High Court, which ruled that ‘skin-to-skin’ contact is necessary for one to be charged with ‘sexual assault’ under POCSO Act.
The Bombay High Court last week had ruled that groping breast of a minor girl without disrobing her or sliding hands under her clothes cannot amount for charges under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
“Skin-to-skin contact necessary to charge one under sexual assault sections of POCSO Act,” the Bombay High Court had ruled.
The stay on the Bombay High Court’s controversial ruling was ordered by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde.
The Bombay High Court had passed the judgement while hearing a case, where a 39-year-old man was accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
The Court found that the man was not guilty of sexually assaulting the minor girl as he had not disrobed her of her clothes, meaning “there was no skin-to-skin contact”.
The Bombay High Court in its observation stated that groping a child’s breasts without ‘skin-to-skin contact’ can invite charges of molestation only under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but not the POCSO Act.
The Bombay High Court’s judgement had evoked sharp reactions from several quarters of the society across the Country.