The Supreme Court put stay on the order of the Bombay High Court which seeks to acquit a man from the charges of sexual harrasment/assault under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the ground that if there is not direct skin to skin contact between the accused and the victim than it can not be said to be a sexual assault under the act. The Supreme Court, instead, convicted the man under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Bench of the Supreme Court which was being headed by the CJI S.A. Bobde stayed the acquittal of the man by the Bombay High Court under the POCSO Act, when the same was brought to the notice of the court by the K K Venugopal, Attorney General, as he stated that it’s ‘unprecedented’ and it’ll likely to ‘set a dangerous precedent’.
The Supreme Court after allowing the AG request, convicted the accused under section 8 of the POCSO Act and also issued him the notice and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three to five years.
However, the High Court convicted the man under section 354 (use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of woman) for one year rigorous imprisonment and under section 342 (wrongful confinement), but acquitted him by setting aside the order of the sessions court which convicted him for three years of rigorous imprisonment under section 8 of the POCSO Act.