National Affairs

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

The Supreme Court has reportedly withdrawn its recommendation to make Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court in light of her controversial orders on two sexual assault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. 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”.  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Justice of India SA Bobde had recommended Justice Ganediwala as a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court, but later rescinded the offer.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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