Skin-to-skin case: SC sets aside Bombay HC judgment, convicts accused

New Delhi, Nov 18 (UNI): The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the verdict of the Bombay High Court, which had held that skin-to-skin contact was essential for POCSO offences and convicted two accused to various jail terms for indecently touching a minor girl.

A bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, disposed of the appeal filed by the parties.


The Bench observed, “The most important ingredient for constituting the offence of sexual assault is sexual intent and not skin-to-skin contact with the child. The construction of a rule should give effect to the rule, rather than destroy it. Any narrow interpretation of the provision, which will defeat its object, cannot be accepted. The intention of the legislature cannot be given effect unless a wider interpretation is given.”

SC said giving narrow meaning of physical contact to confine it to skin-to-skin contact would defeat the purpose of the POCSO Act and it cannot be accepted.

“The appeals of the Attorney General (AG) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) should be allowed; the appeals of the accused should, likewise, be dismissed in the two appeals filed against the judgment of the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench,” the top court of the country observed, and convicted Satish and Libnus.

While disposing of the appeals, the Bench said, “It clearly emerges that the High Court fell into error in case of accused Satish in holding him guilty for the minor offences under Sections 354 (Outraging the modesty of a girl) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and acquitting him for the offence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act.

“The High Court had committed gross error in holding that the act of pressing the breast of the child aged 12 years in absence of any specific details as to whether the top was removed or whether he inserted his hands inside the top and pressed her breast, would not fall in the definition of sexual assault,” it added.

Delving into various facts of the case, it said the prosecution was not required to prove a “skin-to-skin” contact for the purpose of proving the charge of sexual assault under Section 7 of the Act.

The Apex Court, therefore, is of the opinion that the prosecution had duly proved not only the sexual intent on the part of the accused, but had also proved the judgments and orders of January 15 and 19, 2021, passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, Nagpur Bench, are hereby quashed and set aside.

Satish is directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years and to pay fine of Rs 500 and in default thereof to suffer simple imprisonment for a period of one month for the offence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, noted the SC.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Kindly Disable Ad Blocker