Kissing and Fondling will not come under unnatural offenses: Bombay HC

The high court of Bombay in a verdict stated that kissing on lips and fondling are not unnatural offenses or unnatural sex under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The decision has been taken by the court after announcing a bail to a man accused of sexually assaulting a minor boy.

The court’s observation came in a case related to Vikas Mohanlal Khelani, who was booked for offenses 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.

It was Bombay high court’s Justice Anuja Prabhudessai who granted bail to the man arrested last year following a police complaint filed by the 14-year-old boy’s father. “The statement of the victim as well as the FIR prima facie indicates that the accused had touched the private parts of the victim and had kissed his lips. From the perspective of the court, under Section 377 (unnatural sexual offenses) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) this is not a prima facie offense,” read the 4-page order by Justice Anuja Prabhudessai. kissing on lips and fondling are not considered under unnatural offenses or sex, said the Bombay court.

Justice Prabhudesai said the medical examination of the boy hadn’t confirmed sexual assault. The accused had already spent a year in custody, hence, he is entitled to a bail, she added. 

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Upon the case filed by the father of the minor, the police investigated the case. After inquiry, 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 a gaming application.  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. 

Based on the testimony by the boy, relevant sections of the  POCSO Act and under Indian Penal Code Section 377 had been charged by the police. However, the court granted bail to an accused of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences  Act.