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Controversial POCSO Rulings: Supreme Court Holds Bombay HC Judge's Confirmation

The top court modified its earlier interim orders and ordered that that the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple shall now function under the oversight committee headed by the former apex court judge Justice (retd.) Srikrishna. (Image: PTI)

The top court modified its earlier interim orders and ordered that that the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple shall now function under the oversight committee headed by the former apex court judge Justice (retd.) Srikrishna. (Image: PTI)

Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala confirmation as a permanent Bombay High Court judge was withdrawn because of two controversial rulings on POCSO cases.

The Supreme Court has reportedly withdrawn its recommendation to make Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court in light of her controversial orders on two sexual assault cases in the recent past.

Justice Ganediwala had modified a sessions court order that held a man guilty of a minor’s sexual assault. She had ruled that groping a child without “skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent” does not amount to the offence under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. This was stayed by the Supreme Court.

Also read: Opening Pants Zip Not ‘Sexual Assault’ under POCSO Act: Bombay HC Judge Who Ruled on Skin-to-Skin Contact

Attorney General KK Venugopal had called this ruling “disturbing”. He had said, “It is a very disturbing conclusion. Your Lordships should take note of this. I will have a petition filed tmrw or Your Lordships may take Suo Motu notice”

Bar and Bench reported that a three-member collegium of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had recommended Justice Ganediwala as a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court, but later rescinded the offer.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had also ruled that that “the act of holding a girl’s hands and opening the zip of pants will not come under the definition of sexual assault” and couldn’t be charged after POCSO.

The ruling was pronounced by a single bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala in a criminal appeal against the conviction and sentence awarded to a 50-year-old man for molesting a five-year-old girl.

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first published:January 30, 2021, 11:02 IST