The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has ruled that there must be a “skin-to-skin contact” with sexual intent, and mere groping is not sufficient.
The judgement was given after a sexual assault with a minor under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was registered.
A single-judge bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala was hearing an appeal against the conviction in a case where the accused had allegedly taken a minor girl to his house under the garb of offering her guava and pressed her breasts and partially stripped her.
Upon disclosure of the incident by the girl to her mother, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against the accused. According to Bar and Bench, the accused was convicted by the trial court under POCSO Act and the IPC. He then approached the high court challenging the conviction.
The court then considered whether pressing the breasts of a child without removing the top falls into the category of sexual assault defined under Section 7 of the POCSO Act.