Kissing on lips, touching private parts of minor not unnatural offence: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court previously ruled that touching a victim’s private parts or kissing on the lips does not constitute an unnatural action and granted bail to an accused.

A single bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was considering a bail plea submitted by one Prem Dubey through advocate Aneeta Vasani under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (special powers of high court or court of sessions regarding bail).

The victim’s father filed the FIR under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 377 (unnatural offences), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act Sections 8 (punishment for sexual assault) and 12 (punishment for sexual harassment) (POCSO).

The father claimed that on April 17, 2021, they discovered some money missing from the cabinet. The father learned from his son that he used to play an online game and had paid Dubey money to recharge the aforementioned gaming App. Dubey had sexually abused the kid, according to the minor’s parents.

The court recorded, “The statement of the victim as well as the First Information report prima facie indicate that the applicant [Dubey] had touched the private parts of the victim and had kissed his lips. In my considered view, this would not prima facie constitute an offence under Section 377 of the IPC.”

The court added, “The offence under Sections 8 and 12 of the POCSO Act are punishable for a maximum imprisonment up to five years. The applicant is in custody for almost one year. 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.”

Dubey was granted bail on a 30,000 bond and ordered to report to the Oshiwara police station once every two months.