INDIA. Nagpur: On January 19, the Nagpur division of the Bombay High Court passed a judgment stating that groping someone without “skin to skin contact” cannot be termed as sexual assault as defined under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The High Court has also stated that ‘stricter proof and serious allegations are required’ to charge someone with the criminal offense.
The HC verdict received backlash from the people. Many common people and celebrities took to social media to react to the decision taken by the court.
In December 2016, the accused, Satish had taken this girl to his house in Nagpur on the pretext of giving her something to eat, when he attempted to remove her salwar and he pressed her breasts. However, he groped her without removing her clothes, and the court deemed this as the crux. With this, the verdict gave the accused, Satish, the privilege of a reduced sentence of only one year.
Section 8 of POCSO provides stringent punishment of five years’ of rigorous imprisonment (RI) to anyone who is involved in sexual offenses against children.
Little did a 12-year-old girl know that being touched inappropriately is not a sexual crime because her clothes were not taken off when the brutal act happened.
In other words, groping a person’s protruding organs covered with clothing is not a sexual assault, because the act does not involve direct contact with skin. Well, does it mean that the piece of clothing needs to be charged for its presence, or there rather be a skin-to-skin contact for the sole reason of getting justice, considering the verdict not leaving with many options!
It is these loopholes that help demons get away with any gruesome act. Thus allowing letting them to do it over and over again, in fact permitting them to do so, because the repercussions which do not impact them, not even in the remotest way, serve as a motive for their brutal instincts.
This incident has led us to a greater question – There is no dearth of laws in India, but are these laws making justice easily accessible or just helping convicts like Satish?