SC reserves judgment HC's skin-to-skin contact verdict

SC reserves judgment on appeals against Bombay HC's skin-to-skin contact verdict

The court asked the counsel for the parties to file written submissions within three days

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on appeals against the Bombay High Court's verdict which held that sexual assault offences under POCSO would not be attracted if there was no direct 'skin to skin' contact between the accused and the child.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice U U Lalit wrapped up the proceedings after hearing detailed arguments by Attorney General K K Venugopal, the Maharashtra government counsel and others.

The court asked the counsel for the parties to file written submissions within three days.

Also Read | Mere groping is not sexual assault: Bombay HC

Maharashtra government adopted the arguments advanced by Venugopal, who termed the judgment as outrageous and urged the top court to set it aside. 

Besides the Attorney General, the National Commission for Women (NCW) also filed the appeal against the judgment. 

The top court had on January 27 stayed the High Court's judgement after Venugopal mentioned the matter before it and said that the January 19 verdict was “unprecedented” and was likely to set "far-reaching" and “dangerous precedent”. 

In his arguments, the A-G contended if tomorrow a person wears a pair of surgical gloves and feels the entire body of a woman, he won't be punished for sexual assault as per the High Court's judgment. 

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