Touching Cheeks of a child not a Sexual Assault: Bombay High Court.

Bombay High Court granted a bail to an accused who was arrested in july 2020 for allegedly touching the cheeks of a minor girl. The Court said that touching cheeks without sexual intent does not comes under Sexual Assault.

An accused was granted bail by Bombay High Court who was taken in custody for touching the cheeks of a child.
The 46 year old man, Mohammad Ahmed Ulla was arrested in July 2020. He was accused of inappropriately touching an eight-year-old girl. The complaint was filed by the girl’s mother. The accused runs a chicken shop and was accused of molesting the girl inside his meat shop. The incident took place in 2020, and the accused was arrested by Thane’s Rabodi Police. Since then he is in jail.

The Bombay High Court granted him bail saying “touching the cheeks without a sexual intent would not attract the offence of ‘sexual assault’.”

Justice Sandeep K Shinde of the Bombay High Court said, “In my view, touching the cheeks without a sexual intent would not attract the offence of ‘sexual assault’, as defined under Section 7 of the Pocso Act.”
“Primary evaluation of the material on record does not suggest that the applicant allegedly touched the cheeks of the victim with a sexual intent,” he added.

According to the prosecution,
Mr. Ulla allegedly called the girl inside his meat shop where he touched her cheek, opened his shirt, and was about to open his pant. A woman, who had seen the accused taking the girl to his shop, went to the spot after growing suspicious.

However, Mr Ulla in his defence said, that he’s being falsely implicated in the case by the rivals in business.

Section 7 of the POCSO Act was read in the court which states:
“Whoever with sexual intent touches the vagina, penis, anus, or breast of the c-hild or makes the child touch the vagina, penis, anus, or breast of such perso-n or any other person, or does any other act with sexual intent which involves physical contact without penetration is said to commit sexual assault,"section -7 of the Pocso Act reads, cited by the court in this case, reads.

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