Mumbai court takes just two days to convict man for sexual harassment, sentences him to 3 years imprisonment

Metropolitan Magistrate at Esplanade, Mumbai gave a conviction in a sexual harassment case within 15 days of the arrest of the accused and 7 days of the case being registered

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: PTI)

NH Web Desk

A Mumbai court recently convicted a person for offences of sexual harassment in a trial which lasted for only two days, one of the shortest such trials.

The Metropolitan Magistrate at Esplanade, Mumbai gave a conviction in a case within 15 days of the arrest of the accused and 7 days of the case being registered, as per a Bar & Bench report.

The accused was sentenced to imprisonment for three years.

The crime took place on September 18, 2021 in a park when the accused unzipped his trousers and started walking towards the informant.

After asking for help from two people in the park, they restrained the accused, while the informant sought help from the police.

In a short while, the police took the accused in custody, and the informant registered a complaint against him.

The investigation officer visited the spot of the incident and recorded the statement of two witnesses. After completion of the investigation, a chargesheet came to be filed against the accused.

The charges came to be framed on October 4, 2021 against the accused under Sections 354 (assault), 354A (sexual harassment) and 354D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.

After the accused pleaded not guilty, the trial commenced.

The prosecution examined all five witnesses on the first day and relied upon documentary evidence.

Metropolitan Magistrate Yashshree Marulkar opined that conviction in sexual offences can be safely recorded provided evidence of the victim of the offence does not suffer from any basic infirmity.

“With development of the law regarding sexual offences, it is now crystal clear that a woman who is victim of sexual assault is not an accomplice to the crime. Her evidence is similar to the evidence of an injured informant or witness,” judge Marulkar said.

The Court concluded that corroboration of a victim’s testimony was only by way of abundant caution so as to satisfy conscience of the Court.

The Court further noted that sexual violence apart from being a dehumanizing act is an unlawful intrusion on the right to privacy and sanctity of a female.

“It is a serious blow to her supreme honour and degrades and humiliates the victim. It leaves behind a traumatic experience,” the judge said.

“Such scars indelibly leave a scar on the most cherished possession of a woman i.e. her dignity, honour, reputation and not the least her chastity. …Moreover, sexual offences are the most heinous crime against women under Indian Criminal Law, which not only defiles the physical health of the victim, but also ruin her inner soul. No ointment would be able to provide a relief to victim, as there is no medicine for mental distress,” the judge said.

Having held so, the Court sentenced the accused to imprisonment of 3 years.

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