The tenure of additional Judge of Bombay High Court Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala* is extended by another one year after Supreme Court collegium recommendation being accepted. The order of her tenure extension came a day before her previous two years tenure was about to end. The Supreme Court has withdrawn its earlier recommendation dated January 20 through which she will be appointed as permanent judge of Bombay High Court. This is after her two verdicts on POCSO Act came under close scrutiny for the controversial interpretation. On January 19, Justice Pushpa acquited a man from the charges of sexual assault under POCSO Act on the ground that mere pressing of breast without direct skin contact is not sexual assault.
Bombay High Court judge, Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, who had delivered two controversial verdicts in sexual assault cases, was on Friday given a fresh one-year term as an additional judge, instead of two years as recommended by the Supreme Court collegium. Justice Ganediwala's fresh tenure would be effective from February 13. Her earlier tenure as an additional judge was to end on Friday, news agency PTI reported. The collegium had recommended that she be given a fresh term as an additional judge for two years. But the government issued a notification on Friday saying she has been given a fresh term as an additional judge for one year. Instead of asking the collegium to reconsider its recommendation of a fresh two-year term, the government decided to extend the period by only one year, sources pointed out. Additional judges are usually appointed for two years before being elevated as permanent judges.
The decision was taken after the judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court faced flak for her interpretation of sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.Justice Ganediwala recently acquitted a man accused of groping a 12-year-old girl's breast because he did not make skin-to-skin contact and days earlier, ruled that holding the hands of a five-year-old girl and unzipping the trousers do not amount to "sexual assault" under the POCSO Act.