Child Knows Good Touch and Bad Touch, Says POCSO Court, Denies Bail To Accused

Child Knows Good Touch and Bad Touch, Says POCSO Court, Denies Bail To Accused

“The victim being a small girl, it cannot be said that she is not aware about good touch or bad touch,” the court observed.

10th Feb, 2021

Child Knows Good Touch and Bad Touch, Says POCSO Court, Denies Bail To Accused
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 aims to protect children against offences. Photo: PTI/Representational

New Delhi: A special POCSO court in Mumbai has denied bail to a man accused of molesting a five-year-old girl, saying even though the victim is a child, it cannot be said she is not aware of “good touch or bad touch”.

The order was passed by the court on February 6 and a copy was made available on Tuesday.

Special judge Bharati Kale, while rejecting the bail plea of the accused, said the victim has categorically stated that the applicant touched her and “she felt it was a bad touch”.

“The victim being a small girl, it cannot be said that she is not aware about good touch or bad touch,” the court observed.

The man, who is the victim’s neighbour, is accused of touching her inappropriately when she used to go to his house to play.

He has been booked under Indian Penal Code Section 354 (molestation) and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Denying the charges, the accused’s lawyer had argued that the victim, being a child, used to visit his house and it cannot be said that the applicant’s touch was a “bad touch”.

The prosecution contended that the victim is aware of the nature of the touch and specifically said it in the statement about the same.

Finding merits in the prosecution’s arguments, the court rejected the bail plea of the accused.

“I find that the nature of accusations is serious and the applicant is alleged to have committed aggravated sexual assault,” the judge observed.

“In the circumstances, I do not find that the applicant is entitled for bail,” the judge said.

Judgments related to offences under the POCSO Act have come under increasing scrutiny after a Bombay high court judge passed two orders that were widely criticised.

Justice Pushpa Ganediwala had pronounced two verdicts, the first of which said “skin to skin” contact was necessary to deem a person’s action as sexual assault of a minor under the POCSO Act. This verdict was issued on January 19, 2021.

A few days later, on January 28, Justice Ganediwala held that holding a 50-year-old man’s action to unzip his pants in front of a five-year-old child did not come under the ambit of ‘sexual assault’ as defined by the POCSO Act.

The Supreme Court stayed the first order, while the top court’s collegium also decided to withdraw its recommendation to confirm Justice Ganediwala’s permanent status in Maharashtra’s top court.

Courtesy : The Wire

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