National Commission for Women Chairman Rekha Sharma has announced that the NCW will be challenging the controversial judgement passed by the Bombay High Court on January 19 held that a 12-year-old girl was not assaulted but molested as there was no skin-to-skin contact.
"This judgment will not only have a cascading effect on various provisions involving safety and security of women in general," Sharma tweeted. "..[It will] also put all the women under ridicule and has trivialized the legal provisions provided by the legislature for the safety and security of women."
Judge Pushpa Ganediwala of the Bombay High Court had earlier modified the order of the sessions court that held a 39-year-old man guilty of 'sexual assault' for groping a 12-year-old girl. The judge said the offence did not amount to sexual assault as there was no skin-to-skin contact and would only come under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also taken cognisance of the case and has written a letter to the Government of Maharashtra, urging them to file an urgent appeal against the verdict.
"The remark 'skin to skin' with sexual intention without penetration' also need to be reviewed and the state should take note of this as it seems to be derogatory to the minor victim," reads the letter from NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo as quoted by Livelaw.