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Touching Minor's Hand Sans Intention To Molest Won't Amount To 'Sexual Assault': Tripura HC Acquits Man Of POCSO Charges

Sparsh Upadhyay
15 April 2022 10:52 AM GMT
Touching Minors Hand Sans Intention To Molest Wont Amount To Sexual Assault: Tripura HC Acquits Man Of POCSO Charges
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The Tripura High Court recently acquitted a man booked and convicted under, inter alia, Section 8 of the POCSO Act [Punishment for sexual assault] for allegedly touching a minor's hand as the Court noted that the prosecution and the victim had said nothing about the intention of the accused to molest.The Bench of Justice Arindam Lodh, which was hearing an appeal filed by the accused against...

The Tripura High Court recently acquitted a man booked and convicted under, inter alia, Section 8 of the POCSO Act [Punishment for sexual assault] for allegedly touching a minor's hand as the Court noted that the prosecution and the victim had said nothing about the intention of the accused to molest.

The Bench of Justice Arindam Lodh, which was hearing an appeal filed by the accused against the order of conviction passed by the Special Judge (POCSO), Khowai, Tripura, observed thus:

"After careful perusal of the record it is found that the offence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution witnesses including the victim has not specifically stated anything that there was any intention of the accused to molest her. However, though she stated that the accused had touched her hand, in this situation, in my opinion, the ingredients of Section 8 have not been fulfilled and conviction and sentence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act stand quashed and set aside."

Essentially, the Accused had been found guilty for committing offence punishable under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and was sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 3 years and also found guilty under Section 448 of IPC and sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 1 year.

Challenging the same, he had moved the High Court. Now, setting aside his conviction under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, the Court has, however, upheld his conviction under Section 448 of IPC.

Consequently, considering the nature of offence that the accused-appellant had trespassed the house of the complainant, the Court modified the sentence to the extent that the accused-appellant shall pay a fine of Rs.10,000 (Rupees ten thousand) to the victim/complainant, in default of which, the accused-appellant shall suffer simple imprisonment for a period of six months.

The Court further directed that the fine money shall be deposited to the concerned court within a period of six months and on the realization of the said fine money, the court shall pay the same to the victim/complainant.

Case title - Sanju Tanti v. The State of Tripura

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Trip) 10

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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