New Delhi [India], February 4 (ANI): The National Commission for Women (NCW) has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court against the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court verdict which ruled 'skin-to-skin' contact is necessary for the offence of 'sexual assault' under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act.
After being "aggrieved" by the order and the interpretation adopted the term 'physical contact' in Section 7, POCSO Act means only 'skin to skin touch', the NCW moved the Apex Court and filed the SLP.
"If such an interpretation of physical contact is allowed, it will adversely impact the basic rights of women, who are victims of sexual offences in the society and will undermine the beneficial statutory safeguards prescribed under various legislations aimed at protecting the interest of women," the NCW in its SLP stated.
The Commission also stated that the said order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has far-reaching ramifications for women, exposing them to a desensitized society.
"Such a narrow interpretation adopted in the order sets a dangerous precedent, which would have a cascading effect on the safety of women," it said.
On January 19, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court judge, Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala, had observed that there should be "skin-to-skin" contact with "sexual intent" for the crime, and mere groping would not be considered as sexual assault.
Justice Ganediwala acquitted that man of sexual assault on the grounds that pressing the breasts of a child over her clothes without direct "skin to skin" physical contact does not constitute "sexual assault" under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. (ANI)