Bombay HC grants bail to man booked under unnatural offences, POCSO

The man was arrested based on the description given by the children. His advocate argued that the section 377 charge was not proved.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, September 01, 2022, 10:25 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court granted bail to a man who was booked for sexual assault on a minor, observing that section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) involves penetrative sexual intercourse.

Justice Bharati Dangre, on August 25, granted bail to the man who was booked

under section 377 of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) for sexual assault on a seven-year-old girl.

According to the complaint filed by the girl’s mother on September 30, 2019, the girl was playing with her friends. When they returned around noon, the friend informed her that a man had removed the minor's clothes, expanded her anus with his hands and poured red colour water into her anus.

The man was arrested based on the description given by the children. His advocate argued that the section 377 chargewas not proved.

Justice Dangre noted the minor’s statement wherein she said that the man poured red-coloured water into her anus. When she tried to shout, he pressed her mouth.

The medical examination report of October 1 recorded “finds consistent with sexual intercourse/assault” and no injuries to the anus. Also, the medical report recorded history of “penetrative sexual contact” on September 27, 2019.

Taking note of the medical report, Justice Dangre said that neither the mother’s complaint nor the girl mentioned penetrative sexual assault. “The victim is examined after three days and her clitoris is described as ‘inflamed’ and there is no hymen present. The opinion given is ‘inflamed edges of hymen and urethra’, whereas, according to the victim girl herself, her vagina was neither touched nor was there any manipulation alleged,” said the court in its order.

What would amount to an unnatural offence is not defined but as indicated in Section 377, whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, is liable for punishment with life imprisonment or a term up to 10 years, noted the court.

The judge has said that the minor’s statement that the applicant slept over her would fall under POCSO.

The maximum punishment for which, if found guilty, is five years. The man has already spent three years behind bars. Hence, he deserves to be released on bail, said justice Dange while granting him bail against a personal bond of Rs 25,000.

The court has also directed him not to establish contact with the victim girl or her family.

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