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Impossible for rape accused to gag victim, remove clothes: Bombay HC

Days after her controversial order on sexual assault under POCSO, Bombay HC Judge Pushpa Ganediwala of the Nagpur Bench on Friday acquitted a rape accused. The HC judge was hearing an appeal against the conviction of a 26-year-old man for raping a 15-year-old girl.

The judge said it seemed highly impossible for a man to gag the mouth of the victim, remove both their clothes at the same time and perform the forcible sexual act without any scuffle.

Overturning his 10-year jail term ordered by the trial court, Ganediwala said that as per the settled law, stricter the sentence, stricter the proof is required. She said considering the substandard quality of testimony of the victim, it would be a grave injustice to send the appellant behind the bar for 10 years.

The High Court judge had earlier ruled that groping a minor's breast and unzipping pants do not amount to sexual assault under the POCSO act.

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