Touching cheeks of child without sexual intent not offence, says Bombay High Court

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Updated: August 29, 2021 1:26 PM

The high court on August 27 granted bail to the accused Mohammad Ahmed Ulla arrested on July 2020 by the Rabodi police in the neighbouring Thane district.

The high court on August 27 granted bail to the accused Mohammad Ahmed Ulla arrested on July 2020 by the Rabodi police in the neighbouring Thane district.

Granting bail to a 46-year-old man accused of sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl, the Bombay High Court observed that touching cheeks of a child without sexual intent would not attract the offence of sexual assault. 

A single bench of Justice Sandeep Shinde on August 27 granted bail to the accused Mohammad Ahmed Ulla arrested on July 2020 by the Rabodi police in the neighbouring Thane district.

“In my view, touching the cheeks without a sexual intent would not attract the offence of ‘sexual assault’, as defined under Section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” the high court said.

“Primary evaluation of the material on record does not suggest that the applicant allegedly touched the cheeks of the victim with a sexual intent,” it added.

Justice Shinde, however, clarified in the order that the observations made by him should be construed as the opinion only for bail in this matter and the same shall not in any way influence the trials in other matters.

According to the prosecution, Ulla allegedly called the girl inside his meat shop where he touched her cheek, opened his shirt, and was about to open his pant. A woman, who had seen the accused taking the girl to his shop, went to the spot after growing suspicious.

An FIR was registered and Ulla was arrested. He is presently lodged at the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai.

He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA).

(With PTI inputs)

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