The court, while setting aside the High Court decision, confirmed the guilt of the offender in the case and sentenced him to three years of rigorous imprisonment, subject to the period he had undergone.
Mr. Venugopal had argued that the High Court order would set a “very dangerous precedent” and cripple the intention of the POCSO Act to punish sexual offenders. He stressed that the High Court order had a deleterious effect when the number of POCSO cases had reached 43,000 in a year.
On January 19, a Single Judge of the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench created a furore by acquitting the man under the POCSO Act and holding that an act against a minor would amount to groping or sexual assault only if there was “skin-to-skin” contact.
The High Court had concluded that mere touching or pressing of a clothed body of a child did not amount to sexual assault.