“It’s not sexual assault by touching without taking off your clothes.”

Indian woman protesting for punishment of criminals in connection with sexual assault and murder. EPA=Yonhap News

There is controversy over an Indian court ruling that touching without taking off clothes cannot be regarded as sexual assault.

According to CNN on the 26th (local time), a 39-year-old man accused of sexual assault, including touching a 12-year-old girl to her home in December 2016 for giving guava, according to CNN. He was acquitted on the 19th, saying, “I had no physical contact because I did not take off my clothes.”

Earlier, the lower trial court admitted the man’s suspicion of sexual assault and sentenced him to three years in prison, but the high court found it innocent, saying that it could not be considered a sexual assault definition because the skin of each other did not touch. However, he was sentenced to one year in prison for only acknowledging sexual harassment charges.

Judge Ganediwala said, “The basic principle of criminal law is that punishment should be proportional to the severity of the crime.”

In response to the judgment of the judge, there are voices on the social network service (SNS) raising questions about the judgment.

“This ruling is shameful, absurd, and shocking,” said a woman activist from a non-profit organization. Karuna Nandi, a lawyer, said, “It is a ruling that completely violates the existing law.”

Meanwhile, according to the BBC in 2019, sexual assault crimes occur every 2 hours and 35 minutes and every 13 hours in India against children under 16 and under 10 years old. At the time, the media cited government statistics and said, “Infant sexual assault crimes increased from 8541 cases in 2012 to 19765 cases in 2016.”

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Reporter Jeong Hye-jeong [email protected]

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