Kissing, fondling not unnatural offences under Section 377: Bombay High Court

In a decision granting bail, the fact that kissing on lips and fondling are not unnatural offences under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) was upheld by the Bombay High Court through Justice Anuja Prabhudessai in the case of Prem Rajendra Prasad Dubey v. the State of Maharashtra (BAIL APPLICATION NO. 3731 OF 2021).


The 14-year-old boy’s father filed a police complaint against the accused of sexual assault. According to the FIR, the boy’s father discovered some money missing from their cupboard. He was informed by the child that he had delivered the money to the accused. The child stated that he used to go to the accused person’s shop in Mumbai to recharge an online game called ‘Ola Party,’. When the child went to get his phone recharged one day, the accused allegedly kissed him on the lips and caressed his private parts.

Following this, the boy’s father approached the police, who filed an FIR against the accused under relevant parts of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (POCSO) and Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 377, which deems carnal intercourse or any other unnatural act a punishable violation.


While granting bail to the accused, Justice Prabhudessai remarked that a medical test on the child did not substantiate his claim of sexual assault. As a result, the factor of unnatural sex did not appear to be applicable in this case.

She went on to say that the POCSO sections imposed on the accused contained a maximum penalty of five years and qualified him for bail. The top court also highlighted that the accused had already been detained for a year and that the trial in the case was unlikely to commence anytime soon. As a result, the accused was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 30,000.


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