Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, the author of a series of controversial lawsuits on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, took an oath as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court for one more year today.
The swearing in ceremony was broadcasted live on YouTube. Justice Nitin Jamdar, senior most judge at the Nagpur Bench, administered the oath of Justice Ganediwala.
The confirmation of Justice Ganediwala’s continuation as an additional judge came on Friday, after the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification to that effect.
The notification from the Ministry came after the revised decision of the Supreme court collegium not to appoint her as a permanent judge.
The Collegium had approved the proposal to appoint Justice Ganediwala as a permanent judge and had passed a resolution to that effect on 20th January
Subsequently, three acquittals handed down by Justice Ganediwala under the POCSO Act were brought to the Collegium’s notice.
- In one verdict, she overturned the conviction order after finding that there was nothing that supported the prosecution’s case for rape.
- In the second verdict, she recorded the act of holding hands of a minor or the zip of the pants of the accused being open at the relevant time does not constitute to sexual assault within the meaning of Section 7 of the POCSO Act
- In a third verdict, she held that the act of pressing the breast of a 12-year-old child without removing her top will not come under the definition of ‘sexual assault’as per Section 7 of POCSO Act. This third judgement caused an uproar and chaos. Thus. the Apex court put a stay order on this judgment.
These judgements prompted the Supreme Court Collegium to recall its recommendation of accepting Justice Ganediwala as a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court.
Justice Ganediwala was appointed as the additional judge of Bombay High Court on February 8, 2019.