Observing that kissing and touching private parts are prima facie not unnatural offences under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the Bombay High Court granted bail to a man accused of a minor boy's sexual assault.
The man had sought bail under section 439 of the CrPC.
According to the FIR, the accused had touched the private parts of the victim and had kissed his lips. He was booked under sections 377, 384, 420 of the IPC and under sections 8 and 12 of the POCSO Act, 2012.
Justice Anuja Prabudessai observed, "In my considered view, this would not prima facie constitute offences under section 377 (unnatural or anal sex) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)."
Of the offences Section, 377 of the IPC is punishable with life imprisonment or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and is also be liable to fine. The maximum imprisonment for offences under sections 8 and 12 is 5 years.
Therefore, the court observed that since the applicant is in custody for almost one year, the charge is not yet framed and trial is not likely to commence in the immediate future. "Considering the above facts and circumstances, the Applicant is entitled for bail."
The complaint was registered pursuant to the First Information Report (FIR) lodged by the father of the victim. The father alleged alleged that on 17/04/2021, they found that some money from the cupboard was missing.
Upon inquiry, they came to know that the victim used to play online OLA PARTY game and that he had paid the money to the Applicant to recharge the said gaming App. The victim also told his parents that the Applicant had sexually abused him.
"The statement of the victim, as well as the First Information report prima facie, indicate that the Applicant had touched the private parts of the victim and had kissed his lips," the court said adding that it would not constitute an offence under section 377 of the IPC.
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw(Bom) 190