‘Skin-to-skin’ verdict: Centre accepts Justice Pushpa Ganediwala’s resignation

The Centre on Monday issued a notification confirming the resignation of Bombay High Court’s Additional Judge, Justice Pushpa V. Ganediwala, who quit her post last month after some controversial judgements delivered last year.

The Ministry of Law & Justice said that Justice Ganediwala’s resignation has been accepted with effect from February 11, 2022 – a day before her tenure was due to expire – as the Supreme Court collegium did not recommend extending her term or elevating her.

Justice Ganediwala, of the Nagpur Bench of Bombay HC, shot to headlines for two verdicts in child sex abuses cases delivered in January-February 2021 that generated immense controversy, and were later overruled by the Supreme Court.

One pertained to the proposition that direct ‘skin-to-skin’ contact was necessary for constituting an offence of sexual assault under the POCSO Act, and another of holding a minor girl’s hand to open the zip of the man’s pant did not constitute an office under POCSO but under the IPC.

Following widespread reactions to the verdict, the apex court collegium revoked its recommendation of January 20 to make her a permanent judge of Bombay HC, and in February 2021, it recommended extending her term as an Additional Judge by one year.

Appointed as Bombay HC Additional Judge on February 13, 2019, after there was no further extension or elevation as a permanent judge, Justice Ganediwala resigned from her post last month and her resignation has now been officially accepted by the President.

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