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Skin-To-Skin Contact Isn’t Needed For POCSO To Be Effective: Supreme Court Overrules Bhc Judgement

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There are so many atrocities constantly happening around us. Unfortunately, in today’s times, no one is safe. Women and children are vulnerable and always at risk of being abused or harassed. While there are laws made to protect them, there are criminals that still end up getting away with what they did, based on certain loopholes and technicalities. Luckily, this wasn’t a possibility this time as the Supreme Court negated a judgement made by the Bombay High Cort which claimed that skin-to-skin contact is necessary for POCSO to be effective. 

Also Read: Tutor Called 16-Year-Old Girl A “Prostitute”, Has Been Arrested Under POCSO. Can We Stop Slut-Shaming Girls?

The Bombay High Court’s controversial judgement was overruled by the Supreme Court who said that skin-to-skin contact is not necessary for sexual assault under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. According to India Today, A Bench of Justices including UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi had the opinion that skin-to-skin contact is not necessary for one to be booked under POCSO Act. The court said, “The most important ingredient of for constituting the offence of sexual assault is sexual intent and not skin to skin contact with the child. The construction of a rule should give effect to rule rather than destroy it. The intention of the legislature cannot be given effect to unless the wider interpretation is given.” 

The Supreme Court stated that limiting the meaning of touch to “skin-to-skin” would lead to “narrow and absurd interpretation” which would ruin the meaning of the POCSO Act which is meant to protect children from sexual offences. The court further stated, “If such an interpretation is adopted, a person who uses gloves or any other like material while physical groping will not get a conviction for the offence. That will be an absurd situation.”

The supreme court took the right call here. Of course, it is important to protect everyone but I believe it is even more important to protect minors. Anyone that can be so heartless and cruel to harm a child does not deserve to get away with it and the POCSO Act and any other child protection act is meant to ensure that.

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