In a shocking ruling, a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences court ruled that touching the cheeks of a minor girl without a sexual intent does not amount to an offence. The special court acquitted the accused.
“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,” observed the court.
A special POCSO court acquitted 28-year old man who was previously accused of molesting a 33-year old woman and then her 5-year old daughter.
The incident was reported in 2017 when the accused, who was a technician by profession, visited the victim’s house to repair a broken refrigerator.
The woman recalled the incident and told that the technician had visited their house in the afternoon time. The accused man detected the problem and went out to get the spare part. When he came back, he pulled the cheeks of her 5-year old daughter. Then she objected to his behaviour and continued to work in her kitchen. The accused followed her in the kitchen and hugged her from behind.
The complainant woman pushed him away but he carried on with his advances. She gave him money for his service and asked him to leave the house but keep trying to hold her neck and pull her closer. He again tried to feel the cheeks of her daughter.
After several failed attempts, the woman called the supervisor of the technician to lodge a complaint. Later, her brother and sister also came for the rescue.
The accused was arrested but got bail soon.
The special POCSO court has sentenced one year imprisonment to the accused for molesting a 33-year old woman. However, the court acquitted him of the charges of molesting the child while observing that touching cheeks of a minor girl is not an offence.