Bombay High Court has said that looking at a minor with sexual intent is a punishable offense under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2005. The court was hearing a petition, in which a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against two men under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The accused had claimed that the case was based on a vague complaint and there was no material for a trial.

The accused who are residents of Daman, had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court for quashing the FIR against them.

In the statement, the victim had alleged that ‘he always used to see her with bad intention’. The judge used the same statement while announcing the order to reject the petition.

“Watching a child with sexual intent comes under mischief covered by Section 11 of the POCSO Act,” Justice AM Badar, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Section 11 of the POCSO Act defines ‘sexual harassment of a child’, and includes the words ‘constantly watching a child with sexual intent’. The offence is punishable up to three years of imprisonment and a fine can also be imposed on the guilty.

Referring to this particular case the Judge further added, ‘Therefore, it cannot be said that there are no sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused of the offence as defined by Section 11 and made punishable under Section 12 of the POCSO Act,’ the judge said, referring to the fact that a minor girl had named him as ‘having bad eye on her’ in her statement to a metropolitan magistrate.”

The Judge also added that whether there was sexual intent or not will be decided during the trial but the FIR will not be quashed and the case will go for trial.