Off late, he Bombay High Court has been in the centre of the light for series of controversial judgements.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ruled that holding the hands of a minor girl and opening the zip of his pants does not fall under the purview of ‘sexual assault’ or ‘aggravated sexual assault’ of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The observation was made by a single bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala on January 15 while passing an order on an appeal filed by a 50-year-old man challenging a sessions court’s order convicting him for sexually assaulting and molesting a five-year-old girl.
According to the complaint, the accused, Libnus, had trespassed into a woman’s house and molested her five-year-old daughter in February 2018. On returning from her work, the woman alleged that she saw Libnus in the house, holding her daughter’s hand and trying to take her to one of the rooms in her house.
The convict, Libnus Kujur, was in October 2020 convicted under sections 354-A (1)(i) (outraging modesty) and 448 (house-trespass) of the IPC and sections 8 (sexual assault), 10 (aggravated sexual assault) and 12 (sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act. He was sentenced to five years in jail.
The high court, however, felt that the allegations did not fit into the definition of sexual assault under POCSO Act.