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Indian court rules groping minor without touching skin isn’t sexual assault

NEW DELHI

A court in India has ruled that groping a minor girl “without touching her skin” is not sexual assault under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

India’s attorney-general KK Venugopal has called the court order “disturbing” and says it sets a dangerous precedent.

By this order, the court acquitted a man accused of groping a 12-year old girl, the Hindustan Times reported.

An Indian high court acquitted him of this charge and held him guilty only under molestation punishable with one year under IPC Section 354.

The AG said, “The order is very disturbing and is likely to set a dangerous precedent.” He requested the court to take suo motu cognizance as he was in the process of filing a petition against the order.

In a judgment last week, Bombay High Court judge Pushpa Ganediwala found that a 39-year-old man was not guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl as he had not removed her clothes, meaning there was no skin-on-skin contact.

According to court documents, the man brought the child to his house on the pretext of giving her guava in December 2016. While there, he touched her chest and tried to remove her underwear, according to the judgment.

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