Non-direct harassment is also within the purview of the POCSO Law: Women’s Commission
Child abuse does not have to be in direct contact with the body to come within the scope of the POCSO case the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Attorney General (AG) K.K. Venugopal also clarified in the Supreme Court. The commission and the attorney general ruled in favor of the Bombay court in a case in which the accused was acquitted on the grounds that touching the outside of the clothes could not be considered sexual harassment.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court released the accused in the Poxo case last January with controversial observations. The verdict was stayed by the Supreme Court. Arguments on the petition will continue today. KK said the Bombay High Court had misinterpreted the POCSO Act. Venugopal said. The POCSO Act is a special law to protect children. He reiterated that the verdict that torture over clothing is not a crime is like saying that a person who wears gloves should be acquitted.
Geeta Luthra, appearing for the Women’s Commission, pointed out that the law provides for any other form of sexual harassment. The sentence was reduced to one year imprisonment for lack of evidence of direct contact. This led to a discussion on social media.
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