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Bombay HC Grants Bail To Man Guilty Of Sexually Abusing Minor; 'Kissing Not An Offence'

The Bombay HC has observed that kissing would not prima facie constitute offence under section 377 (unnatural sex) of IPC & granted bail to a POSCO act accused.

Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court has observed that kissing would not prima facie constitute as an offence under section 377 (unnatural sex) of the Indian Penal Code and granted bail to an accused of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The court's observation came in a case related to Vikas Mohanlal Khelani, who was booked for offences under sections 377, 384, 420 of the IPC and Sections 8 and 12 of the POCSO Act for sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy.

Kissing prima facie not unnatural sex: Bombay HC

In a recent order dated May 5, Justice Anuja Prabhudessai said, "The statement of the victim, as well as the First Information Report (FIR) prima facie, indicates that the applicant had touched the private parts of the victim and had kissed his lips. In my considered view, this would not prima facie constitute offence under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code."

The court stated that accused Vikas Mohanlal has been in custody for almost one year, but the charge is not yet framed and the trial is not likely to commence in the immediate future.

"Considering the above facts and circumstances, the Applicant Vikas Mohanlal Khelani is entitled for bail," the court said and imposed various conditions including the furnishing of bonds in the sum of Rs 30,000 with one or two solvent sureties in then like amount.

The FIR was registered against accused Vikas by the 14-year-old boy's father. The victim's father alleged that on April 17, 2021, they found some money missing from the cupboard. Upon inquiring, it was learned that the minor used to visit the accused person’s shop in Mumbai's suburbs and he had paid the money to the accused to recharge for a gaming application. The boy further told his father that he had given the money to the accused person. The boy alleged that the accused kissed him on the lips and touched his private parts when he once went to get the recharge done.

Following this, the boy’s father approached the police, who registered an FIR against the accused under relevant sections of the  POCSO Act and under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 377, which makes carnal intercourse or any other unnatural act a punishable offence.

With ANI Inputs

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