The Bombay High Court has said that looking at a child with sexual intent falls under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and is punishable, Hindustan Times reported on Sunday.

The court was hearing a petition filed by two men from Daman seeking to quash a First Information Report filed against them under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. They had said that the case was based on a vague complaint and there was no material for a trial.

Justice AM Badar of the High Court rejected the petition and said, “Watching a child with sexual intent comes under mischief covered by Section 11 of the Pocso Act.”

According to this section, a person who “repeatedly or constantly follows or watches or contacts a child either directly or through electronic, digital or any other means” with sexual intent has sexually harassed the child. It is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment and fine.

The complainant, a minor girl, had said that one of the men always used to see her “with bad intention”. So, it cannot be said that there are no sufficient grounds against the accused, the judge said, adding that the trial would determine if the act was done with sexual intent.