“A girl walks to her neighbour’s house, and he offers her to sit…”, Oh Wait! This wasn’t the starting line of another case of sexual assault, victim-blaming, people’s protest, shame on society and injustice by law. Or was it? Living in the twentieth or twenty-first century doesn’t make a difference until there’s a difference in the storyline.
I never agree that a sentence of one-year imprisonment under section 354 or a sentence of three-year imprisonment under the POSCO act could do justice to an individual who has been a victim of sexual assault. Recently, the Mumbai High Court improvises the definition of sexual assault as skin-to-skin contact.
A minor’s Groping does not please the Mumbai High Court enough to consider it an assault on the child.
The judgement passed on 19th January 2021 by the Mumbai High Court justifies its verdict by referring to how groping a minor without skin-to-skin contact is not termed as sexual assault under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act.
A 12-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a 39-year-old man, on which, the sessions court had sentenced the man to three years of imprisonment. Recently, Justice Ganediwala of the Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court modified the sessions court’s order.
The case was brought up in December 2016 in Nagpur when a 39-year-old man Satish, took the 12-year-old girl to his house to offer her something to eat.
The man gripped her and attempted to remove her clothes according to what Justice Ganediwala of the Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court recorded in her verdict and the prosecution and the minor victim’s testimony in court.
The exact copy of the judgement passed on 19th January 2021 was made available now. The decision held that there must be “skin to skin contact with sexual intent” for an act to be considered sexual assault.
Mere Groping will not fall under the definition of sexual assault, says Justice Pushpa Ganediwala of the Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court.
OUTRAGING A WOMAN’S MODESTY:
Among all the discussions and trolls that are spreading like wildfire on social media and other platforms, what is most certain is that a woman’s modesty weights nothing in the eyes of the law.
I, however, do not feel the need to add “unless there are stricter proofs against the culprit” to the statement passed by the Mumbai High Court since outraging a woman’s modesty is considered to be weighed on a measurement scale by the law and justice to the victim remains a question mark.
How can someone feel a sexual assault based on skin-to-skin contact between the culprit and the victim? Fear in the woman’s eyes shall continue to be whether the women are in a local train or a metro, at a street or a cafe because a man’s touch, no matter however inappropriate and conceptual, shall remain to be seen as non-offensive.
And even if you raise voice against such humiliation, the culprit will not be held responsible as according to the law and the high court nothing of the sort is defined under the term “sexual assault”.
If such shame isn’t considered punishable, maybe eve-teasing doesn’t even exist as an absolute term under the eyes of the law. You do not outrage a woman’s modesty unless the intensity of your assault is fair enough to be considered under the term- assault.
“According to Section 307 in The Indian Penal Code which is Attempt to murder, whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder and shall be punished.
” Is there a more justifiable word for punishing the culprit? The condition of the victim should not define punishment. Punishment should be based on the intention of the culprit. If the judgement is passed based on the victim, it is the wrong direction of effort. Criminal should be punished, and crimes with cruel intentions like sexual assault need stricter laws. The generation doubts what our country is heading towards.
If we want to assure our women’s safety, the current situation and laws are not appreciated. If we’re going to ensure the development of our country, the women must be safe.
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