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Touching Child's Cheek Without Sexual Intent Not Offence, Rules POCSO Court, Acquits Accused

(News18 Creative by Mir Suhail)

(News18 Creative by Mir Suhail)

On Tuesday, a special POCSO court acquitted a 28-year-old technician who was previously accused of molesting a 5-year-old's mother.

In yet another shocking judgment, a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences court ruled that touching a child's cheek without any sexual intent does not amount to an offence.

On Tuesday, a special POCSO court acquitted a 28-year-old technician who was previously accused of molesting a 5-year-old's mother.

The incident took place in 2017 when the accused had visited the house of the victim on the pretext of fixing a broken refrigerator.

Recounting the incident the mother claimed that the technician had visited their house in the afternoon to look into the broken refrigerator. The accused detected the problem and had gone out to get the spare part. When he returned he took the opportunity to feel the cheeks of the woman's 5-year-old daughter. The mother noting this, objected to this behavior and leaving him to work on the malfunctioning washing machine, went to the kitchen.

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 While she was working in the kitchen, the accused came from behind and hugged. The mother in fear pushed him away but he carried on with his advances.
The woman gave him money and asked him to leave but he instead tried to hold her by the neck and pull her closer and felt the child's cheeks again.

Despite several attempts, when the accused refused to leave the premises, she called his supervisor to lodge a complaint and also her sister and brother who then came to her rescue.

The police came and arrested the accused but he was soon granted bail.

After hearing the 33-year-old woman's plea, the court sentenced one-year of imprisonment to the accused on charges of sexually molesting the mother however on the charges of molesting the child, the court acquitted him stating that the act of touching the child's cheek was not an offence.

“It is for the prosecution to prove the guilt against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Even considering the testimony of the mother, as it is, still there is no such overt act on part of the accused which can be termed as sexual assault to the victim girl or amounting to outraging her modesty.” the special court ruled.

first published:February 05, 2021, 11:25 IST