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Touching cheeks of a child without any sexual intent is not sexual assault: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: In a recent judgment, the Bombay High Court stated that touching the cheeks of a child without any sexual intention is not considered sexual assault under the POCSO Act.

Bombay High Court Justice Sandeep K Shinde, while granting bail to an accused booked under POCSO Act, said, “Touching the cheeks without a sexual intent would not attract the offense of sexual assault, as defined under Section 7 of the POCSO Act,”

A 46-year-old man who runs a meat shop was arrested under POCSO Act for alleged inappropriately touching a minor girl at his meat shop in 2020; following it, the minor’s mother filed an FIR at Rabodi Police Station, Thane. Since then, the accused was in jail.

Section 7 of the POCSO Act states that whoever, with sexual intention touches the penis, vagina, anus, or breast of the child or makes the child touch the vagina, anus, penis, or breast of such persons or does any other act with a sexual intention which involves physical contact without penetration is said to commit sexual assault.

Justice Shinde stated that “Primary evaluation doesn’t suggest that the accused touched the cheeks of the victim with a sexual intention.”

Advocate Ramprasad Gupta who appears for the accused, stated that this was a case of business rivalry and nothing more or less than that. He said that the investigation in the case was complete, and a charge sheet was filed.

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