SC Collegium refuses confirmation to Bombay HC judge who gave ‘skin-to-skin’ verdict

The apex court on November 18 had set aside Justice Ganediwala’s two judgments passed in January this year, interpreting sexual assault provisions under the POCSO Act.

The apex court on November 18 had set aside Justice Ganediwala's two judgments passed in January this year, interpreting sexual assault provisions under the POCSO Act.

The Supreme Court Collegium is learnt to have declined to recommend the name of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, additional judge of the Bombay High Court, for appointment as a permanent judge in the backdrop of her controversial “skin-to-skin” judgment. The collegium’s decision means she would be demoted back to district judiciary.

The apex court on November 18 had set aside Justice Ganediwala’s two judgments passed in January this year, interpreting sexual assault provisions under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The woman judge, who has been serving at Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, had faced widespread criticism after she granted bail to a man accused of groping a minor, saying that there was no “skin-to-skin contact and hence, it cannot be termed as sexual assault” under the POCSO Act.

The collegium, headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, also has Justices U U Lalit and A M Khanwilkar, and it met on December 14, news agency PTI quoted sources as saying. As per the sources, the decision to not recommend the name of Justice Ganediwala for appointment as a permanent judge was taken in the meeting.

The collegium, however, approved the proposal for the appointment of three other additional judges of the Bombay High Court as permanent judges. The three additional judges of the Bombay High Court whose names have been approved are justices Madhav Jayajirao Jamdar, Amit Bhalchandra Borkar and Shrikant Dattatray Kulkarni.

The collegium also resolved to recommend that Justice Abhay Ahuja be appointed as additional judge of the Bombay High Court for a fresh term of one year with effect from March 4, 2022.

In another decision, the collegium, on December 14, has approved the proposal for the appointment of additional judge Justice Aniruddha Roy of the Calcutta High Court as a permanent judge of that court.

(With PTI inputs)

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