Without sexual intention, Touching of cheeks, not sexual assault under POCSO, Bombay HC grant bail

In this case a FIR was filed by the mother of the victim alleging that the accused (46yrs) run a business and he touched the cheek of her daughter. He was arrested and his offence is punishable under Sec 354 of IPC and Sec 8, 9(m), 10, and 12 of the POCSO Act 2021. While discussing this case the court refer the Sec 7 of POCSO Act as follows:-

“Whoever with sexual intent touches the vagina, penis, anus, or breast of the child or makes the child touch the vagina, penis, anus, or breast of such person or any other person, or does any other act with sexual intent which involves physical contact without penetration is said to commit sexual assault.”

And also discuss about the essential of sexual assault which comes from this section as follows:-

  1. touching the vagina, penis, anus, or breast of the child;
  2. making the child touch the vagina, penis, anus, or breast of such person or any other person;
  3. doing any other act which involves physical contact without penetration.
    All of the above acts, however, must have been done with ‘sexual intent.’ The court found in the present case that in the act of the accused, there is a lack of sexual intent which is essential for sexual assault.
    So there is no sexual assault under POCSO Act.
    So the accused shall be release on bail.

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