Bombay High Court judge, Justice Pushpa Ganediwala who had authored a slew of controversial judgments on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, will continue as Additional judge of the High Court for one more year.
The Ministry of Law and Justice accepted the Supreme Court Collegium’s revised decision to not make her a permanent judge.
A notification was issued by the Law Ministry on Friday confirming that she will continue as Additional Judge.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution, the President of India is pleased to appoint Smt. Pushpa Ganediwala to be an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court for a period of one year with effect from February 13, 2021,” the notification said
This comes after Supreme Court Collegium, which had earlier recommended Justice Ganediwala to be made permanent, withdrew its recommendation after the contentious judgments authored by the judge came to light.
Justice Ganediwala had handed down three acquittals under the POCSO Act in three separate cases, all within a week.
The most controversial among them was a judgment delivered on January 19 in which she ruled that the act of pressing the breast of a child aged 12 years without removing her top will not fall within the definition of ‘sexual assault’ under Section 7 of POCSO (Satish Ragde v. State of Maharashtra).
This third ruling had caused an uproar with the Supreme Court staying the judgment on a mentioning made by Attorney General KK Venugopal.
Aside from that, in a judgment delivered on January 14, she reversed a conviction order after noting that there was nothing supporting the prosecution’s case for rape (Jageshwar Wasudeo Kawle v. State of Maharashtra).
On January 15, she held that the act of holding hands of a minor or the zip of the pants of the accused being open at the relevant time, does not amount to sexual assault as defined under Section 7 of the POCSO Act (Libnus v. State of Maharashtra).
These rulings had prompted the Supreme Court Collegium to recall its recommendation of January 20 by which it had agreed to make Justice Ganediwala a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court.
Justice Ganediwala was appointed additional judge of Bombay High Court on February 8, 2019. She started her judicial career in 2007 when she was appointed District Judge.
She has held postings as City Civil Court, Mumbai; District Court and Family Court at Nagpur; Joint Director of Maharashtra Judicial Academy (MJA); Principal District & Sessions Judge, Nagpur; Registrar General, High Court of Judicature at Bombay and also Principal Judge at City Civil Court, Mumbai.