Netizens have reacted with anger after the Bombay High Court ruled that pressing the breast of a child without removing her clothes did not amount to sexual assault under Section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). According to an order passed by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, the act of groping a child without removing her clothes would only amount to ‘outraging modesty’ under the IPC.
“The act of pressing of breast of the child aged 12 years, in the absence of any specific detail as to whether the top was removed or whether he inserted his hand inside top and pressed her breast, would not fall in the definition of ‘sexual assault’. It would certainly fall within the definition of the offence under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code,” the Bar and Bench website quoted the Bombay High Court order.
While passing this extraordinary verdict, Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala acquitted a man under punishment for sexual assault of the POCSO Act.
As expected netizens reacted with anger and horror registering their outrage on the verdict.
Are you f-ing kidding me? pic.twitter.com/BBaOQfYdDG
— June Paul (@journojuno) January 23, 2021
cw // sexual assault , groping
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG W THIS COUNTRY WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK WE ARE NOT FUCKING SAFE HERE THE FUCK pic.twitter.com/c831l4zq8B
— ᴮᴱ kay ⁷ ? ⟭⟬ ⟬⟭ ? (?) (@THICCMINY00NGI) January 24, 2021
Judges like Pushpa Ganediwala who states that, “There should be skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent in order to be considered as sexual assault. ‘Mere groping’ will not fall under sexual assault.” are a bigger threat to the society and women existing in it, than criminals.
— Elizabeth (@Elizatweetz) January 24, 2021
Gita Gopinath fawning over a sexist remark, Pallavi Ghosh asking women to be “kept safe,” Justice Pushpa Ganediwala refusing to call groping of a minor a sexual offense — Just three women flaunting internalized misogyny with carefree abandon.
— Amit Schandillia (@Schandillia) January 24, 2021
The court, according to the Livelaw website, convicted the man under Section 354 IPC (outraging a woman’s modesty) to one-year imprisonment for the minor offence.