During the hearing of a case related to sexual harassment, Delhi High Court made an important observation on the POCSO Act. The High Court said that the simple act of touching a minor is not a sexual offense under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. The High Court said that simple touching cannot be considered as molestation of a minor’s body to commit penetrative sexual offence.
What was the matter?
A man was convicted of aggravated penetrative sexual offense for touching the private parts of a 6-year-old girl who was taking tuition. But the Delhi High Court clearly refused to uphold the decision of convicting the accused. High Court Judge Amit Bansal said that touching under the POCSO Act is a different kind of crime from sexual offences.
What punishment did the culprit receive?
In the year 2020, a private court convicted the accused under Section 376 of the IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act. The court had sentenced him to 5 years in jail under Section 10 of the POCSO Act. Also, the fine of Rs 5,000 given by the trial court was retained. The High Court has also upheld the conviction and fine of the accused for aggravated sexual offence.
The High Court also said that there were no independent witnesses or medical evidence to support the prosecution’s case. The High Court said that if a conviction can be made only on the basis of the testimony of a minor without any independent corroboration, in such a case his testimony must be of excellent quality.