Supreme Court today appointed Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave as Amicus Curiae, in SLP challenging Bombay High Court judgment where a man was acquitted for an offence under Section 7 POCSO Act, observing that in the absence of “skin-to-skin” contact, no sexual assault can be established over the Minor.
A Division Bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ajay Rastogi, while passing orders, said,
“Considering the nature of controversy we list this matter for disposal on 24th August 2021 as first item on board.
Regarding the issue arising in the matter, we deem it appropriate to ask Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave to assist the Court as Amicus.
Registry is directed to send copies of paperbook to Mr. Dave immediately. List on August 24th. In the meantime parties are at liberty to file appropriate affidavits and additional documents.”
It was also recorded that both the accused were served, affidavit for which shall be filed within 2 days.
On January 29, Supreme Court stayed acquittal by the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court.
Just two days after the controversial judgment was passed, Attorney General, KK Venugopal mentioned the matter seeking stay, before a bench of the then Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramaniun.
Court while issuing notice to the State, asked the AG to file a formal petition in this regard.
The Impugned judgment held that 'pressing of breast' and an 'attempt to remove salwar' of a minor would not fall under the definition of 'sexual assault' under Section 7, POCSO Act, but would certainly fall under Section 354 IPC.
Justice Pushpa V. Ganediwala observed that as per the POSCO Act, a physical contact with sexual intent, without penetration is an essential ingredient of the offence and that the words “any other act” as stipulated under the section, would include only similar acts – acts specifically mentioned in the definition, applying the principle ejusdem generis.
Case Title: Attorney General for India v. Satish
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