Controversial POCSO Verdict: Promotion Of HC Judge Pushpa May Be Withheld
Mumbai: Bombay High Court Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala may have to pay the ‘price’ for a recent verdict vis-à-vis the controversial interpretation of sexual assault under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) Act.
The Sunday Express reported that the Supreme Court Collegium, after a close scrutiny of the verdict, is set to withdraw its recommendation to promote Justice Pushpa and appoint her as a permanent judge of the apex court.
The Collegium will either send the judge back to the district judiciary or extend her probation by a couple of years.
Justice Pushpa recently acquitted a man charged with sexual assault arguing that pressing the breasts of a child over her clothes, without direct “skin to skin” physical contact, does not constitute “sexual assault” under POCSO Act.
Saying that Section 8 of POCSO provides for stringent punishment of five years’ of rigorous imprisonment, she observed that “stricter proof and serious allegations are required”.
The accused was convicted “under minor offence u/s 354 of IPC and sentenced to undergo RI,” for which maximum sentence is five years and minimum one year.
The Supreme Court stayed this order on January 27.