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Who is Justice Pushpa, who said groping child without 'contact' is not sexual assault?

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New Delhi, Jan 29: Recently the Bombay High Court has pronounced that pressing 12-year-old's breast without 'skin to skin contact' doesn't come under POCSO Act's 'sexual assault' definition or opening pant zip, holding girl's hands not sexual assault.

Who is Justice Pushpa, who said groping child without contact is not sexual assault?

The Bombay High Court verdict regarding a case of groping of a minor girl sent shockwaves for its controversial statement. The case involved a 12-year-old girl who had reportedly been groped by a 39-year-old man in December 2016.

Justice Pushpa Virendra Ganediwala was on the single judge bench.

Born in 1969, Ganediwala got gold medals in B.Com, LL.B. and LL.M. exams. She cleared NET-SET exam in first attempt and was Honorary Lecturer in various colleges.

She practised in Amravati District Court. She was panel Advocate for various Banks and Insurance Companies.

She was directly appointed as District Judge in 2007 and held postings as City Civil Court, Mumbai; District Court and Family Court at Nagpur; Joint Director of Maharashtra Judicial Academy (MJA); Principal District and sessions Judge, Nagpur; Registrar General, High Court of Judicature at Bombay and also Principal Judge at City Civil Court, Mumbai.

She was elevated as Bombay High Court's Additional Judge in 2019.

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    The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Bombay High Court's controversial order acquitting an accused, which had stated 'skin-to-skin' contact necessary to be classified as sexual assault under the POCSO Act. Attorney General KK Venugopal said the order would set a dangerous precedent.

    Following the first incident, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has held that "the act of holding a girl's hands and opening the zip of pants will not come under the definition of sexual assault" under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012. The act instead comes under the ambit of "sexual harassment" under Section 354-A (1) (i) of the Indian Penal Code, observed the bench.

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