Pulling girl’s dupatta, holding her hand with ‘sexual intent’ a crime, man gets 3 year prison

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A special court in Mumbai has sentenced a 20-year-old man to three years jail for pulling a “dupatta” (stole) of a school-going girl with “sexual intent”, and observed that this kind of incident causes terror in the mind of such victims and their families.

The man was found guilty of offences committed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) as well as relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act by special judge Priya Bankar on Tuesday. The detailed order was available on Wednesday.

The prosecution said the victim was studying in Class 10 and was 15 years old when the incident took place in 2017 in suburban Mumbai.

The judge, in her order, noted that there is a rise in sexual offences against children. There is a very adverse impact of the incident on the victim girl, on her family members and even on the society.

They are under the impression that the house and nearby vicinity is not safe for children and it is going to cause an alarming situation in the society, the judge noted.

“Definitely, such type of incident causes terror in the mind of people, victim and her family members and leave scar for longer time,” she added.

The accused used to stand in front of her house. When the family members of the victim came to know about it, they pursued the accused, but did not complain about it to the police. On the day of the incident, the victim was on her way to purchase household articles from a nearby shop when the accused pulled her dupatta and held her hand.

The accused had even threatened the victim that he would beat her father by entering their house.

Thus, the victim’s father lodged a complaint against the accused at Mahim police station. During the trial, the court relied on the testimonies of the victim, her father and the investigating officer of the case.

The accused tried to defend himself by submitting that there was a love affair between him and the victim, but the court said it was not acceptable, looking at the age of the victim. Even suggestions to that effect are denied by the victim and her father during the cross-examination, it added.

The court, after going through the evidence on record, said, “The accused was present on the spot and he committed the offence with the minor victim girl with sexual intent and had a physical contact with the victim girl and thereby committed offence of sexual assault.”

“The prosecution has brought on record sufficient evidence to prove that the accused has committed an offence punishable under IPC sections 354 and 506, and under relevant provisions of the POCSO Act,” it said. (PTI) 

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