National

SC stays Bombay HC’s ‘skin-to-skin-contact’ order

NEW DELHI, JAN 27 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/27/2021 11:58:55 AM IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a Bombay High Court order acquitting a man accused of child abuse on the grounds that groping a child’s breasts without ‘skin-to-skin contact’ didn’t amount to ‘sexual assault’ under the POCSO Act.

A Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde also stayed the acquittal of the accused after Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that the judgment would set a dangerous precedent.

Making an urgent mentioning of the case, Venugopal urged the top court to take suo motu cognisance of the HC’s verdict that said groping a child’s breasts without ‘skin-to-skin contact’ would not amount to ‘sexual assault under POCSO Act. “It is a very disturbing conclusion. Your Lordships should take note of this. I will have a petition filed tomorrow or Your Lordships may take Suo Motu notice. The order will set a dangerous precedent”, Venugopal said.

The Bench allowed the Attorney General to file a Special Leave Petition against the January 19 verdict of the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court that acquitted an accused in the case.

It also issues notice to the Maharashtra government and the accused.

Youth Bar Association of India has also challenged the Bombay High Court verdict that has been widely criticised in legal circles.

 

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