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Supreme Court Collegium withdraws judge's confirmation after controversial sex assault orders

Supreme Court Collegium withdraws judges confirmation after controversial sex assault orders

New Delhi:The Supreme Court Collegium has withdrawn its recommendation to confirm the permanent status of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, a Bombay High Court judge who had passed two controversial orders on sexual assaults in the past few days, reports NDTV

Qouting sources from the top court, the report says that the decision to not grant permanent status is based on the possible need for "more exposure" in such cases,

On January 20, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended Justice Pushpa Ganediwala's name for confirmation as a Permanent Judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court. The judge, however, recently passed two judgments on sexual assault that sparked a huge furore and possibly jeopardised her chances.

In a January 19 ruling, she ruled that groping a minor's breast without "skin-to-skin contact" cannot be termed as sexual assault as defined under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday put that order on hold, allowing Attorney General KK Venugopal to file a petition against it. The order was "disturbing" and would create a dangerous precedent, the Attorney General had said.

On Thursday, in another case,Justice Ganediwala ruled that "the acts of 'holding the hands of the prosecutrix' (female victim), or 'opened zip of the pant'...does not fit in the definition of 'sexual assault'," and quashed the conviction of a man under POCSO. The victim, in this case, was a five-year-old minor.

According to the sources, following these judgments, the Collegium reversed its decision to recommend Justice Ganediwala a permanent judge,says the report.

On Thursday, in another instance, acquitting a 27-year-old man in a rape case, the same judge had ruled that it is highly impossible for a man to gag a girl, de-nude her and self and then rape a 15-year old girl without a scuffle in case under POCSO Act.

In the verdict delivered on January 28, Justice Pushpa Ganediwala said that there were no signs of any scuffle between the accused and the minor victim, while hearing an appeal by the convicted accused in an eight-year-old rape case under the POCSO Act.

The Single bench also observed that the minor prosecutrix's did not inspire the confidence of the Court as she did not disclose the allegations of rape before the Police, and discuss about how she and the appellant/accused got privacy and under what circumstances she was forced to establish physical relationship, et

The procedure for appointing permanent judges or making judges permanent involves the Collegium sending its recommendations to the Central government which then approves it. Sometimes, though, the recommendations are returned to the Collegium with queries.

The Supreme Court Collegium is rarely known to recall or withdraw the recommendations it makes to the government.

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