The Bombay High Court recently ruled that under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO), even touching private parts with sexual intent is enough to consider it as sexual harassment.
The High Court said this while rejecting the plea of a convicted for sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl, back in 2013.
According to the court, the fact that no injury was mentioned in the victim’s medical certificate would not affect his case as the offence was covered by POCSO law, Indian Express reported.
An order was issued in an appeal by a man who was found guilty in November 2017 by a special POCSO Act court in Mumbai of offences punishable under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 8 of the POCSO Act (sexual assault). He received a five-year prison sentence and the order was passed by a single-judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal.
According to the prosecution, in December 2013, a man picked up an underage girl who was playing with friends outside her house and touched and pinched her private parts, The Indian Express reported.
The girl then told the incident to her mother and she took her to the hospital, then they went to the police station.
According to section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the victim’s statement was also recorded after the mother filed an FIR. The neighbourhood residents caught the accused, who was then taken to the police station and he was arrested.
In his defence, the appellant, through advocate Sushant Mhatre, claimed he was falsely entrapped after the girl’s father had a quarrel with him. Mhatre argued that the FIR was submitted two days late, adding the same remained unexplained. Mathre said the victim’s medical examination revealed no injuries and therefore the prosecution’s case was doubtful and his conviction be set aside.